Irish-based diver Jim Warny is back on Irish soil after taking part in the dramatic cave rescue in Northern Thailand.
The Belgian received a hero’s welcome at Shannon Airport in County Clare after touching down in the past hour.
Mr Warny hit world headlines for his part in the rescue of 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a flooded cave complex in Thailand for over two weeks.
Congrats to fellow ðŸ‡§ðŸ‡ªBelgian national Jim Warny, resident of ðŸ‡®ðŸ‡ªEnnis, Co. Clare and expert cave diver, who played a decisive role in saving the lives of the 12 boys and their coach in Thailand #ThaiCaveRescue! pic.twitter.com/1VnkslP5KV
— Pierre-Emmanuel De Bauw (@PEDeBauw) July 10, 2018
Speaking the arrivals hall of Shannon Airport, Mr Warny said he was very fortunate to have been able to take part, but insisted that the boys were the true heroes of the story.
“Cave diving and caving is something I do on a weekly basis,” he said.
“It is a highly dangerous activity – that is why we train.
“We are at it for so many years that we are able to manage the risk.”
Jim Warny is greeted by his fiancee Asia Mania as he arrives into Shannon Airport, 13-07-018. Image: Arthur Ellis Photography
The Mayor of Ennis, Claire Colleran Molloy was one of those gathered at Shannon Airport waiting for Mr Warny to touch down.
“He is the father of a young lad himself,” she said “And you know he still had no issue with volunteering to go an assist in the rescue of 12 young boys and a coach.”