Former DMU student hero’s rescue story told in BAFTA-nominated documentary feature

by Madi Bowman

The BAFTA-nominated The Rescue chronicles the daring 2018 rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach, trapped deep inside a flooded cave. E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin reveal the perilous world of cave diving, bravery of the rescuers, and dedication of a community that made great sacrifices to save these young boys.
The Rescue. Credit: National Geographic

A dramatic documentary of how former Leicester De Montfort University student, John Volanthen, helped save the lives of 13 people trapped in a Thailand cave has been nominated for a BAFTA award.

And the story doesn’t end there, as his role in the rescue is set to be portrayed by movie star Colin Farrell, in a new Ron Howard film to be released in November.

The rescue took place in the Tham Luang caves where 12 Thai schoolboys aged between 11 and 17, and their football coach, had become trapped underwater after an unexpected storm in 2018.

The documentary, The Rescue, is described by National Geographic as an ‘against-all-odds story that transfixed the world’.

Mr Volanthen, who was honoured with the George Medal for his bravery, assisted others in the dangerous rescue operation.

An article published in the Independent last year said that Mr Volanthen, a world record holding British caver and diver expert, began caving with the Scouts at the age of 14.

The Brighton man studied electronics at De Montfort University and now works as an IT consultant.

The BAFTA winners will be announced on Sunday, March 13.

As well as Colin Farrell, the upcoming Hollywood movie of the rescue, Thirteen Lives, also stars Viggo Mortensen of Lord of the Rings fame and is directed by Oscar winning Ron Howard.

The Rescue: official trailer

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