Jason Mallinson, Internationally acclaimed Cave Rescue Diver and recipient of the Queen's Gallantry Medal, recently gave a captivating and illustrated talk chronicling his exploits in Thailand in June 2018 to a two hundred strong audience at Greenhead Masonic Hall.
Jason spoke of his role in helping rescue twelve Wild Boars football team members from a flooded underground cave in Tham Luang Non in Chiang Rai Province.
The brave but unassuming 50-year-old hero from Oakes, provided a graphic description as he re-lived the epic rescue involving himself and colleagues dubbed by the press as “International Rescue”, a hand-picked team from across the globe flown to Thailand and charged with what was thought to be an impossible mission.
Before Mallinson’s arrival at Tham Luang, where the boys were trapped deep inside the vast cave system, the rescue seemed near impossible giving the authorities cause to consider leaving the football team and their coach there for months until water levels dropped making for a safer rescue attempt.
The youngsters were stuck with very little hope for 18 long days and nights before the dramatic rescue.
Malcolm Jenkinson, from Newsome, who organised the evening on behalf of Unity Masonic Lodge, explained that he had been a friend and caving colleague of Jason’s for over 30 years.
“Potholing and caving in the Yorkshire Dales are where we began and as the years went by Jason became known worldwide as a leading cave diver with many underground, underwater world records achieved."
“Missions to Norway, Mexico and now Thailand have begun with a call for me to provide extra gear and I am so proud of his achievements, always with minimal concern for his own safety.”
Proceeds raised on the evening amounted to £1,000 for the Freemasons’ Teddies For Loving Care initiative which provides a cuddly bear at Accident and Emergency units at hospitals, including HRI and Calderdale.
Jason, along with other members of the rescue team, were recognised by Her Majesty The Queen in the 2019 New Year's Honours List.