Australian Embassy

Press Release 2018 - Thailand cave rescue operation

                                                  Thailand cave rescue operation

Joint media release

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
  • Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne
  • Minister for Home Affairs, the Hon Peter Dutton MP


11 July 2018

We join with the people of Thailand in celebrating the rescue of all 12 boys and their coach who have been safely evacuated from the flooded cave in Chiang Rai, Thailand.

The Thai authorities have demonstrated outstanding leadership throughout the rescue operation, working tirelessly to bring the team to safety.

The rescue mission was made possible by a remarkable example of international cooperation. Under the leadership of the Royal Thai Navy Seals, rescue crews from Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States have worked in close partnership to ensure the safe return of the boys and their coach.

The dangers of the mission were underscored by the tragic death of the former Royal Thai Navy SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Saman Kunan. The Australian Government sends its condolences to his family.

Australia has played an integral role in this unprecedented operation. We congratulate all of those involved, including Dr Richard Harris and his dive partner Craig Challen, as well as our Australian Federal Police divers and personnel from the Australian Defence Force and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade who provided logistics and planning expertise.

Australia has been proud to work with Thailand and other countries to achieve this extraordinary outcome.

Should you have any queries, please direct these in the first instance to our media liaison section in Canberra +66 6261 1555 or

Click here for Thai version