Honours for Thai cave rescue hero

Honours for Thai cave rescue hero

Josh Bratchley, Met Office meteorologist and Prospect young professionals network member, was part of a team of specialist divers involved in the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their football coach trapped in a cave in Thailand in 2018

The Thai government requested assistance from specialist divers around the world, including the British Cave Rescue Council, who were able to co-ordinate and call out the UK team.

27 year-old Josh, who joined the Met Office in 2015, said: “I have been training with the UK’s Cave Diving Group for years, which is the oldest amateur diving club in the world. It is great to have a hobby and passion for something that ultimately can save lives.

“There is a relatively small international community of cave divers, so in fact a lot of us know each other anyway.

“The harsh conditions of UK cave diving sites meant British divers had a lot of suitable skills for the conditions likely to be experienced in the Thai rescue – like zero visibility in awkward passages, and strong currents.

"It was a situation that demanded high levels of adaptability and calm under all circumstances, so trust among members of the dive team was very important.”

Josh currently works as an operational meteorologist at RAF Valley in Anglesey, where he is one of a team of six Met Office forecasters who provide meteorological guidance to trainee fast-jet pilots.

His fantastic efforts were recognised when he was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours list in January.

The team of six British divers were also presented with the award for Outstanding Bravery at the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards in November.

“I’m very proud to be recognised for what my fellow divers and I did that week in June. To be nominated for a Pride of Britain award, let alone win it, is something we are all very proud of." said Josh.

Josh has worked at numerous Met Office locations including Aldergrove, Aberporth, Aberdeen and Cyprus.

You can read a Met Office interview with Josh at: http://bit.ly/joshua-b