A British cave diver who assisted in a rescue mission to free 12 teenagers and their football coach trapped in a Thailand cave system has been honoured with an award from his home city.

Former firefighter Rick Stanton, 57, from Coventry, was awarded the Award of Merit and a Good Citizen Award by Coventry City Council.

Stanton was one of the first rescuers to reach the stranded group in the flooded Tham Luang cave network back in July, alongside his diving partner John Volanthen.

In a story that gripped the entire world, elite divers from around the world converged on Thailand along with thousands of local people in a massive rescue bid to locate the missing children, aged between 11-16, and their coach. All 13 people were extracted safely from the cave following the monumental effort.

Rick Stanton told The BBC: “I really believe people in Coventry followed me and were supportive of me [when I was in Thailand] and for that I’m really grateful because it actually meant a lot to me.”

According to the news outlet, ‘Councillor Abdul Khan, the cabinet member for policing and equalities, said that the local authority had been keen to recognise Mr Stanton’s “act of heroism”.’

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