Mae Sai Prasitthisart School in Chiang Rai – which six of the 13 Mu Pa football team members attend– on Tuesday presented a certificate of honour to British diver Vern Unsworth for his role in the cave rescue.
The school also praised former Navy SEAL diver Lt Commander Saman Kunan, who died during the hazardouse operation.
A minute’s silence was observed in recognition of Saman’s sacrifice.
Unsworth was praised for being instrumental in planning the mission and bringing to bear his expertise in cave diving.
Unsworth said he was among the first to join the effort after the boys were reported missing in the cave because he’d explored it in 2016 – at a time, he noted, when it was not as badly flooded as it was during the rescue mission.
So he used his experiences from that time to search for the boys.
He told youngsters attending the presentation to avoid the cave during the rainy season and make sure someone in authority is notified is they ever plan to visit.
It’s important to know about a cave before you enter it, the Briton said.
Also praised for his dedication and given a certificate was Kamon Kunngamkwamdee, a former security guard in Tham Luang-Nang Norn Forest Park, where the cave is situated.
Kamon, who now works as janitor at the school, was among the first people to go to the cave in hope of finding the missing boys.