Summer Term 2018

Thai Cave Rescue

The whole world was recently glued to their TVs and news websites following the story of the Thai cave rescue and admiring the skill and courage of the rescuers and the trapped boys and their coach. It was therefore with great amazement and delight that we learned of the involvement of OG  Connor Roe (Cumming 2009) who was at the heart of the rescue, having been called to assist with the final phase of the operation as a cave diver by the British Cave Rescue Council.  Having been granted permission to travel by his employer, the British Army, Connor was operating within the cave network only a couple of hours after arriving in Thailand.  He was one of eleven cave divers working alongside the Thai Navy SEALs.

Connor Roe and colleague in the Thai cave system

Describing his experience, Connor (pictured above in red helmet) said; “We entered into the more remote parts of the cave, moving through a series of flooded passages where the visibility was often zero. Everything was done by feel and we had to swim through the smaller passages slowly and carefully.  This was made just a touch harder with the extra air bottles we were carrying, sometimes taking as many as 5 each.  I was located roughly halfway to the boys’ location. When they arrived with their primary carer, my teammate and I would complete a series of checks on them such as air levels in their diving cylinder, exchanging them if required. After ensuring they were both ok to carry on, I would guide the children through a long river section which involved some low air spaces and short dives to the next significant diving section. Having ensured the onward movement of the pair, I would return to repeat the process until all the children were out safely.“

Connor went on to describe what it felt like when he knew that all the boys and their coach had been rescued; “I felt relief, pride and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.  We had just completed something that had never been attempted on this level ever before.  With the world watching, often second by second, the pressure was on.  We were so pleased to be part of this great team that has, without a doubt, changed these boys’ lives forever."

We are so proud of Connor and the role he played in making sure these young footballers were rescued safely. He is the very embodiment of the spirit of Plus est en Vous.


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