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Thai cave hero Jim to appear in film of 'impossible' rescue

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Hero diver Jim Warny

Hero diver Jim Warny

Hero diver Jim Warny

Cave diver Jim Warny is set to star as himself in a film telling the story of the 12 boys and their football coach who were trapped in a cave in Thailand.

Belgian national Mr Warny, who lives in Ennis, Co Clare, took part in the rescue of the boys and their coach, which many feared was impossible.

He received a hero's welcome on his return to Ireland in July, when a crowd of more than 100 people greeted him at Shannon Airport.

A crew will film at Shannon on Sunday, recapturing the moment he was reunited with his family.

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The rescued Thai cave boys were guests of Manchester Utd at Old Trafford last month. Photo: Dave Thompson/AP Photo

The rescued Thai cave boys were guests of Manchester Utd at Old Trafford last month. Photo: Dave Thompson/AP Photo

The rescued Thai cave boys were guests of Manchester Utd at Old Trafford last month. Photo: Dave Thompson/AP Photo

The film, called The Cave, is written and will be directed by Tom Waller, a Thai film-maker of Irish heritage.

"We want to tell the story of those brave people who selflessly risked their lives to save the boys and their coach," he said.

"To do it right we need to be as accurate as possible, and that is why we are enlisting the help of the real-life heroes like Jim and bringing him to Shannon Airport to retell his story."

The 12 boys, aged between 11 and 16, and their 25-year-old coach entered Tham Luang cave in Thailand and became trapped after heavy rains flooded the area.

A team of 13 international cave div-ers, including Mr Warny, rescued them on July 10 following a difficult operation.

The boys and their coach were trapped inside the cave for 18 days.

Mr Warny has a nine-year-old son, Ciaran, with former wife Kasia Kowalska.

Ms Kowalska said the diver had reassured his son he would be fine before going abroad on the life-saving mission.

"Ciaran was quite confident that his dad would be OK. He trusts his dad and he was saying 'everything is going to be fine'," she said. "He's proud of what his dad did.

Honour

"Jim is very, very experienced and very good at what he does. He is very confident in his own ability.

"He was saying, 'I know what I'm doing', and he explained everything."

Speaking ahead of the film crew's arrival, Shannon Airport managing director Andrew Murphy said: "We've had many great homecomings here in recent years, but having an opportunity to honour Jim Warny back in July was truly special.

"The fact a film is now being made to commemorate his bravery and that of all of those involved is a wonderful tribute to a selfless man who risked his own life to save the lives of those children and their coach.

"At that time it was a rescue that captured world attention. Here at the airport we could see that from people who came through the airport, stopping to watch TV news bulletins in our lounge.

"To have someone living here in Clare involved in this incredible rescue is a tremendous source of pride for us all, and we are delighted that the story will now be captured on film for future generations."

The film will be shot across Ireland and Thailand until December and is expected to be released next year.


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