A Langley diver who aided in the rescue of 12 Thai boys trapped in a flooded cave last year was honoured in his home town on Monday night by Langley Township’s mayor and council.
“Coming home and being able to share with my family is always an honour of mine,” said Erik Brown, a D.W. Poppy graduate who become a professional diver and dive instructor.
Brown was at the Township Civic Facility “so we could recognize him as a true Langley hero,” said Mayor Jack Froese.
“We’re extremely proud of what you did,” he told Brown.
Brown, a resident of Thailand where he has a dive business, was one of dozens of divers who rushed to the Tham Luang cave complex in June of last year, after a team of 12 young soccer players and their coach were trapped by rising waters caused by monsoon rains.
“The whole world was holding its breath,” noted Froese.
The boys were trapped on June 23, but between July 8 and 10, all of them were successfully rescued by an international team that included more than 100 divers.
Brown worked long hours in the dark, cramped confines of the cave to help set up and assist with the complex rescue procedure.
“Your bravery is truly remarkable, your community and the world thanks you for returning these young boys to their families,” said Froese.
Brown noted he was glad to be able to share the moment with his family and people from the street where he grew up. He noted former councillor and longtime Langley educator Charlie Fox had taught him how to change a tire.
Brown has been speaking about the cave rescue, travelling, and still living and diving in Thailand, he said.