Conference

Thai cave rescue hero to speak at major Tipperary dive event

Jim Warny to attend Nenagh exhibition

Tipperary Star reporter

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Thai cave rescue hero to speak at major Tipperary dive event

Jim Warny: the Thai cave rescue hero will be in Nenagh for a major dive event

One of the heroes of last year’s Thailand cave rescue in which 12 young soccer players and their coach were brought to safety is to speak at a major diving conference to be held in Tipperary in March.

Clare-based diver Jim Warny was part of the international team that successfully took the stricken youngsters to safety after they got caught by rising flood waters in Tham Luang Nang Non cave in June and July 2018.

The rescue effort, which involved more than 10,000 people, captured the world’s imagination, and a film on the episode is due for release this summer.

Mr Warny will be the keynote speaker at the Dive Ireland International Expo in the Great National Abbey Court Hotel, Nenagh, on March 2 and 3.

It is being hosted by Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club in association with the Irish Underwater Council.

The weekend will feature a range of speakers, including Ken O’Sullivan, whose awe-inspiring documentary, Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, won the Ocean Conservation Award at the Waimea Ocean Film Festival in Hawaii.

Among local speakers will be John Leech, commodore of Lough Derg Yacht Club and CEO of Irish Water Safety; Tom Harvey of Nenagh Ormond Search Unit, and Robert Foyle, who will talk about wildlife on Lough Derg, including the White-tailed Sea Eagles.

Participants are expected to attend from around the world, with experienced divers who take to the depths in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands and Finland, as well as from across Ireland and the UK, travelling to the event.

The show will include a photography exhibition and a raffle, with fantastic prizes, including a cash prize of €500, a bog oak sculpture created by renowned local wood carver and member of Lough Derg SAC Para Havatitye (worth €250), two nights’ B&B with one evening meal for two in any Great National Hotel, two tickets for the Blue Planet II show at the Three Arena on March 24.

The organisers have already attracted some local sponsorship for what is considered the major dive event on the national calendar, but are appealing to anyone interested in getting involved to contact them at info@diveireland.ie Further details are available on the website, www.diveireland.ie