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Australian Rescue Divers

Dr. Richard Harris & Dr. Craig Challen: Biography at a Glance

  • Australian heroes who led the daring rescue of 12 boys trapped in Thailand's Tham Luang cave.
  • They braved treacherous conditions to extract the boys from the flooded cave to bring them all to safety.
  • Some of Australia's leading technical divers, they are members of the Wet Mules, a diving group that takes on some of the world's deepest caves.
  • Dr. Richard Harris works professionally in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine, and Dr. Craig Challen is a retired veterinary surgeon.
Australian Rescue Divers

About Dr. Richard Harris

Dr. Richard “Harry” Harris works in anesthesia and aeromedical retrieval medicine in Adelaide, South Australia. He is notable for his efforts in leading the rescue of a soccer team of 12 boys and their coach in the Thailand’s Tham Luang cave in 2018.

Harry has a professional and voluntary interest in search and rescue operations, establishing the first sump rescue training course in Australasia. By building relationships with emergency services in Australia, he has been preparing for an event like the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue, which presented an opportunity to put this training to work.

Harry has expertise in diving, wilderness and remote area health. His passion for cave diving goes back to the 1980’s and has taken him to the corners of the globe in search of new adventures.

Among their many dives, Harry and the Wet Mules have explored some of the world’s deepest caves, including the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand to 229m depth, Daxing Spring in China to 213m and Song Hong Cave in Thailand to 196m.

He is an enthusiastic underwater photographer and videographer, capturing his adventures from his helmet’s camera.


About Dr. Craig Challen

Dr. Craig Challen is an Australian cave explorer, notable for his efforts in saving a soccer team of 12 boys and their coach in the 2018 Tham Luang cave rescue in Thailand.

One of Australia's leading technical divers, he is a member of the Wet Mules, a diving group that takes on some of the world's deepest caves. After commencing cave diving in the 1990s he was an early adopter of closed-circuit mixed gas rebreathers.

Notable explorations include the extension of Cocklebiddy Cave on the Nullarbor Plain of Australia in 2008 and the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand over the last 10 years. He has additionally explored caves throughout Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.

Craig also has an avid interest in shipwreck diving and has explored sites over the last 15 years in the South China Sea, Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.

A veterinary surgeon by profession, now retired, Craig is also an enthusiastic helicopter and airplane pilot.

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