Where is Cave Diver John Volanthen Now? – “Thirteen Lives” on Amazon Prime centres on what happened after a football team and their young coach were trapped in a flooded tunnel. The occurrence occurs in Thailand, where the monsoon’s surprisingly early arrival creates the conditions for what could ultimately be a very terrible catastrophe. A call is put out to some of the most skilled cave divers in the world as thousands of volunteers gather from all around the world to help with the rescue. John Volanthen is one of them.
Volanthen, who Colin Farrell portrays, is a composed individual who is willing to go to any lengths to bring the lads home safely. He plays a crucial role in the dangerous rescue operation. The audience is left with a bittersweet sense as the movie closes. If you want to know what happened to John Volenthen and where he is now, keep reading below.
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Who is John Volanthen?
British cave diver John Paul Volanthen GM (born in June 1971) is an expert in rescues through the British Cave Rescue Council, South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue, and the Cave Rescue Organisation. He was instrumental in the Tham Luang cave rescue in 2018. He performs rescues as a volunteer and cave dives for fun. He is employed in Bristol as an IT consultant.
Volanthen was born in Brighton, England, in June 1971 and raised there. His grandpa was Swiss; hence Volanthen’s last name is an anglicised version of the Swiss surname “Von Lanthen.” He went to Rottingdean’s Longhill High School before transferring to Leicester’s De Montfort University to pursue a degree in electronics.
He and Stanton were the first to get in touch with a young football team in the Tham Luang cave rescue in 2018. The search for the team required cave diving, which was difficult because of poor visibility, cave and rescue debris, and cold temperatures. Volanthen laid out signs inside the cave to help others find their way. He swam to the surface after getting out of line and discovering the missing team and the adult coach.
In a widely shared video of the first interaction with the football squad, Volanthen can be heard asking, “How many of you?” He said, “Brilliant,” when he realised that all of the people who had gone missing had been found. When they came across the squad, he and Stanton did not have any food to offer them, but they did provide them with light. Volanthen promised the crew that he would return when they left, and he kept his word by helping to provide food.
At Wookey Hole in Somerset, cave divers Volanthen and Stanton broke the previous record for the deepest dive ever made in a British cave in 2004 by ascending 76 metres (249 feet). In the Pozo Azul cave system in the Rudrón Valley in Spain, Volanthen, Stanton, Jason Mallinson, and René Houben broke the record for the longest cave penetration dive in 2010, reaching 8,800 m (28,900 ft).
What Happened to John Volanthen and Where Is He Now?
John Volanthen is a senior IT consultant with Comparket Ltd. and resides in Bristol, United Kingdom. He is a University of Westminster alumnus who has created and sold two IT companies. He has created new tools and methods for safe cave diving by fusing his knowledge of electronics and diving. He participates in rescue operations worldwide as a member of the South and Mid Wales Cave Rescue Team. He keeps his personal life quiet and doesn’t talk much about it; however it is known that he has a son named Matthew. According to his Facebook profile, he is dating Claire Forster.
When Volanthen was a scout, he developed an interest in caving, and later, as a college student, he began cave diving. Since he is a Scout county caving adviser in Somerset, he introduces kids to the sport and encourages them to pursue it while teaching them life lessons like how to remain calm under pressure and the value of teamwork. He understands the significance of fostering an interest in such sports at a young age.
Along with his job as an assistant Cub Scout leader in Bristol, where he “encourages and motivates Cub Scouts to take part in interesting and adventurous activities, while allowing them to be creative and become involved in the local community,” he also works as a professional adventure sports enthusiast. He also gives inspirational lectures and leads workshops to impart his knowledge and skills.
After the Thai rescue mission, he was given the Bronze Cross, which is given for acts of bravery in difficult situations. In addition, he has received the Pride of Britain, the George Medal, the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, and the Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society. He was also elected a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2019.
Volanthen regards himself as just another regular person, even though he has won numerous medals and honours and has been heralded as a hero for his activities in Thailand. Are we champions? No, we were simply employing an exceptional skill set that we often use for our personal interests, albeit occasionally we can use that and give back to the community, he added. “We did that,” she said.
Volanthen has avoided the Wild Boars despite significantly impacting their lives. He told inews, “I would never want kids or their parents to feel like they have to answer to anyone. He even declined the chance to visit the “Thirteen Lives” filming location in Australia, opting instead to educate his adolescent son Matthew at home.
Regarding his involvement in the rescue of the thirteen people whose stories became the subject of Ron Howard’s movie, he said: “Throughout the entire rescue, the thing that I took the greatest joy in was being able to meet the parents and not have to say: “I’m sorry for your loss. Although I recognise how detrimental that is, I don’t believe anything will surpass that.
Volanthen, who also completes marathons, thinks of himself as “more Clark Kent than Superman” and is renowned for maintaining his composure in any situation, whether it is in a press conference or the jarring depths of the ocean. Following his return from Thailand, where he was apparently given free flights for life, he continued to act similarly. He avoided doing a lot of interviews because he wanted to stay out of the spotlight.
He even declined the offer from several prestigious publishers to write his autobiography. “I was extremely adamant that I wouldn’t write an autobiography or recount the events. I’ve now been in several circumstances that some could consider life-threatening. It’s interesting to see how I’ve grown from them and built a set of principles when I reflect back,” he remarked.
He began to reflect on what he had learnt, not just from his job in Thailand but also from all the other rescue and cave diving experiences, during the Covid-19 lockdown. He decided to give the reader a series of lessons rather than write about his life. “Thirteen Lessons that Saved Thirteen Lives: The Thai Cave“ is the title of his book, released in 2021. He also appeared in the National Geographic documentary “The Rescue” on the Tham Luang incident. The Speleological Society of the University of Bristol awarded him an honorary degree in 2022. He appears to have additional underwater excursions planned for the future.