A team of British divers who helped save a junior football team stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand were awarded in Britain”s traditional New Year Honours alongside former supermodel Twiggy and Monty Python”s Michael Palin.
The seven underwater specialists involved in the remarkable rescue were also joined on the prestigious annual achievement list — announced on Friday — by Hollywood filmmaker Christopher Nolan, Jim Carter from “Downton Abbey”, best-selling author Philip Pullman and leading Brexiteer lawmaker John Redwood.
Four of the divers were given awards for exceptional bravery while the three others were made Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Richard Stanton and John Volanthen — the first of the divers to reach the 12 stricken children and their coach — were awarded the George Medal, the country”s second highest civilian gallantry award.
Stanton had already been made an MBE in 2012 for his rescue services.
Fellow divers Christopher Jewell and Jason Mallinson receive the Queen”s Gallantry Medal, while Joshua Bratchley, Connor Roe and Vernon Unsworth were decorated with MBEs.
“For me, after saving the boys, this is the icing on the cake,” said Unsworth, who has also risen in fame after suing Tesla entrepreneur Elon Musk for labelling him a “pedo guy”.
“This was a team effort and I”m very honoured to have been recognised, particularly as you don”t engage in a major rescue expecting this outcome,” he added.