VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The family of a Langley-raised man who was part of the treacherous rescue of 12 boys and their coach from a flooded cave in Thailand say they couldn’t be more proud.
Erik Brown, who grew up in Langley, owns a dive shop in Thailand, and when the 35-year-old saw the news his family says he didn’t hesitate to join the rescue efforts.
Although it was nerve-wracking at times, his brother, Kirk Brown says they were glad he was able to help.
“You speak to my mom, myself, anybody that knows him, we are all pretty proud of him, always have him but to see him use his skills this sort of way doesn’t surprise me but I’m very proud he was able to do it,” Kirk says.
When news broke that an experienced diver had died during the rescue, which Kirk says made it even more difficult not to worry.
“He’s a pretty skilled diver, he’s very patient, he’s very brave, but that’s not offset by the planning and being cautious. Of course you have some apprehension, you worry a little bit but he’s very good at what he does.”
He says Erik would go into the cave for hours at a time, noting Erik would sometimes be inside for six hours at a time.
Erik is safe and happy, Kirk says, noting he is tired but glad they were able to rescue everyone.
In a photo on social media, Erik writes: “9 days. 7 missions and 63 hours inside Tham Laung Cave. Success.”