Over the past few weeks, the world has been captivated by events in Thailand which saw 12 boys and their 25-year-old football coach trapped in a cave for 18 days.
The group entered the Tham Luang cave on June 23 before being stranded by surrounding floodwater, leading to a massive rescue operation. They were all discovered alive on July 2 and brought safely from the cave in a series of missions which took place between July 8 and July 10.
The story has gathered headlines around the globe but little did we know here that one of the heroes of the operation resides here in Ireland.
Clare County Councillor Mary Howard has posted on Facebook to say the Belgian national Jim Warny has been living in Ennis since 2004. Due to his diving expertise, he was called up by the British Cave Rescue Council (BCRC) to help to get the boys the safety.
Describing Jim’s heroics, Mary said:
‘A close family friend today told me “Jim did not hesitate for a moment when he was called to help rescue the Thai group stranded in a cave. He has dropped work, risked his life and health, risked his own son Ciaran losing his father , so he could bring 12 boys and an adult back to their families.
‘His cave diving experience and big heart made the mission a success! When we turn our heads away from terrifying images in tv, he was right there ‘privileged ‘ (as he said) to be asked to help them.
‘Brave, strong, dedicated, focus but also sensitive and gentle.”
Jim’s son Ciaran must be so excited to see his Dad after such a terrifying few days.’
A number of commenters are calling Jim a hero for actions and post can be read in full below.
(header pic: Mary Howard)