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Tham Luang cave rescue hero to speak at IBTM World

British diver who risked life to save Thai youth footballers to deliver keynote on managing crisis

The 48-year-old British diver John Volanthen, who specializes in rescues, will speak at IBTM World 2019 in Fira Barcelona.
The 48-year-old British diver John Volanthen, who specializes in rescues, will speak at IBTM World 2019 in Fira Barcelona.

BARCELONA - British cave diver John Volanthen, one of the main rescuers in the daring 2018 Tham Luang Thailand cave rescue, will be a keynote speaker at IBTM World 2019 in Fira Barcelona.

The 48-year-old British diver will be speaking at the Nov 19-21 event on managing risk and keeping calm amidst a crisis, with anecdotes from the hazardous rescue mission.

Mr Volanthen was part of the British diving team called by Thai authorities to join a major search and rescue attempt after news broke that a team of 12 young footballers and their coach were trapped in the Tham Luang cave in Northern Thailand for 18 days.

The three-week incident "extended the limits of what is possible in cave rescue", lessons which Mr Volanthen hopes will "inspire and help others in preparing for the unexpected and being resilient and adaptable when things don't go to plan".

Mr Volanthen, who has been awarded a George Medal for civilian courage and bravery, specialises in rescues through the Cave Rescue Organisation, South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue, and the British Cave Rescue Council.

"We're honoured to have John join us this year as our first keynote speaker at IBTM World," said IBTM World event director David Thompson.

"Not only is his story inspiring and uplifting, but his experience can be related to so many different situations and we can apply his lessons in keeping calm and preparing well, to our everyday lives."

Mr Volanthen's session will take place on Nov 21 at 9am in Theatre one.