Disinterested Generosity of Elon Musk and Firefighter Rick Stanton in Thai Cave Rescue. All Generous

John Volanthen and Rick Stanton 

Stanton told Musk to continue with the development of the sub… If not now…. in the future.

With the go-ahead from Thai authorities, Mr Unsworth contacted John Volanthen, an IT consultant based in Bristol, and Rick Stanton, a former midlands fire fighter.

The pair have been described as the “A Team” by Bill Whitehouse,vice chairman of the British Cave Rescue Council.

Mr Stanton, 56, Mr Volanthen, 47, discovered the boys and their coach trapped in an air pocket 2.5 miles into the cave system last week.

Mr Whitehous told Radio 4’s Today programme last week: “They have been at the spearhead of making their way through because they have the skills and expertise to do it.

“One of the first things they had to do in pushing through is lay a guideline so that they could get out again and so others could follow along.”

Voices heard on a video of the moment the group was discovered in the cave belong to Mr Stanton and Mr Volanthen.

The pair have established a reputation as being among the greatest cave rescue divers on the planet – but both have day jobs in the UK.

Mr Stanton has been a firefighter in Coventry for quarter of a century, while Mr Volanthen is an IT consultant based in Bristol.


Both are volunteers with the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team.

In 2011, the pair set a world record for the longest cave dive, penetrating 9km (5.5 miles) down a system in northern Spain using specially developed equipment.

The former Thai provincial governor (described inaccurately as “rescue chief”) is not the subject matter expert. That would be Dick Stanton, who co-led the dive rescue team. This is our direct correspondence:

7:03 AM – 10 Jul 2018

  • Stanton to Musk:

I’d love to see a short documentary on the design, development, fabrication and testing of the Mini Sub. Even though it wasn’t used, the fast turnaround was remarkable. Probably some lessons other mfrs could learn.


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