OGL senior manager instrumental in Thai cave rescue

A senior manager at OGL played a key role in the rescue of the 12 young boys and football coach trapped in a Thai cave for nearly two weeks.  

Emma Porter, our Head of Legal and HR, is Secretary of the British Cave Rescue Council and she was running the control centre for the UK operation, organising manpower and equipment to be sent to Thailand at short notice. Meanwhile, Emma’s partner, Mike Clayton, flew to Thailand to carry out a support role on the surface, taking the pressure off the divers, who could then focus on the rescue inside the cave.

The rescue was an international operation which included cave divers from the British Cave Rescue Council, two of whom initially found the boys after 10 days trapped in the cave.

Emma and Mike have caved around the world, but nothing could prepare them for the enormity of this rescue challenge, the boys being stranded about 2 kilometres in, with heavy rains forecast that would cause the water levels to rise even further together with diminishing air quality.

Throughout the rescue Emma was available 24/7 (3am in the UK is 9am in Thailand) for the British team in Thailand, communicating with cave rescue teams throughout the UK and Europe, keeping a log of events, putting divers on standby, liaising with the Foreign Office and British and Thai embassies, and organising equipment to be despatched to Heathrow with police escort. Mike was attending multi-agency planning meetings in Thailand, liaising with the Thai authorities and Navy and borrowing equipment from the US military.

Sadly, one ex Thai Navy seal died in the rescue attempt, underlining the dangers involved in the operation, but overall the result was an unbelievable success, better than most of the rescuers envisaged.

To acknowledge their contribution, Emma, Mike and other members of British Cave Rescue have recently visited Downing Street to be thanked personally by the Prime Minister.

Neil Morris, a director at OGL, said: “We are enormously proud of Emma and the vital role she played in this amazing rescue. She was at work when she took the call that the boys had been found, following which her total focus was how and when to get them out. Working in IT has its challenges, but nothing compares to this”.