Fa­ther of Aussie doc­tor who helped res­cue boys dies

The New Paper - - NEWS -

SYD­NEY The fa­ther of a cave-div­ing Aus­tralian doc­tor died yes­ter­day after his son played a key role in the res­cue of the Thai boys.

Anaes­thetist Richard Har­ris did the fi­nal med­i­cal checks of the 12 trapped boys and their coach.

“Early this morn­ing Harry’s fa­ther passed away here in Ade­laide... after they had all come out of the cave,” said Dr An­drew Pearce, of res­cue ser­vice MedS­tar in the Aus­tralian city, where Dr Har­ris, also known as Harry, is a spe­cial­ist.

“It was a com­plete, un­ex­pected shock.”

Mr Pearce gave no cause of death or the age of Dr Har­ris’ fa­ther, Jim.

The Wild Boars, aged 11 to 16, and their 25-year-old coach were trapped on June 23 while ex­plor­ing the Tham Luang cave com­plex in the prov­ince of Chiang Rai. Bri­tish divers found them last week.

UNIQUE SKILL SET

Har­ris played a piv­otal role in the res­cue ef­fort, po­si­tioned on the muddy bank in the cave with the boys and their coach, as­sess­ing their fit­ness for the per­ilous jour­ney back to the out­side.

“His unique skill set as a spe­cial­ist doc­tor and his ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence as a cave diver were quin­tes­sen­tial to the suc­cess of this op­er­a­tion,” Ma­jor Alex Ru­bin of the Aus­tralian De­fence Force told re­porters.

Aus­tralian Prime Min­ster Mal­colm Turn­bull, in a video he re­leased of a con­ver­sa­tion with Dr Har­ris, of­fered his con­do­lences and con­grat­u­la­tions.

“No wor­ries,” Dr Har­ris is heard re­ply­ing. “The big he­roes in this are the chil­dren and the four Thai navy Seals who were look­ing after them. They are the tough­est blokes and kids I have ever had the priv­i­lege to meet.”

In a con­do­lence mes­sage to Dr Har­ris on its Face­book page, the Thai navy unit said, “We wish you the best for this tough time. We can never thank you enough for what you’ve done for the kids, their fam­i­lies and Thai­land.” – REUTERS

PHOTO: IN­TER­NET

Anaes­thetist Richard Har­ris played a key role in the res­cue.

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