The British diver who first found the 12 Thai boys trapped alive in a flooded cave has downplayed his hero status, as he touched down at London's Heathrow Airport to awaiting media.
John Volanthen said he's just relieved the boys are all alive, and praised the collective effort of the international contingent of rescuers.
"We're not heroes, what we do is very calculating, very calm, it's quite the opposite. We're very relieved that they're all alive. At that point we realised the enormity of the situation," Volanthen said.
Nevertheless, the Thai Navy SEAL diving team, who controlled the operation to rescue, have been celebrated for their efforts in their home country.
They returned to their base on the Gulf of Thailand where they received a hero's welcome, and took time to remember the former Thai Navy SEAL who died while volunteering on the rescue.