Thai cave rescue South African diver

Leandro Gerardo, reporting for duty. (Dwayne Saunders / Instagram)

Thai cave rescue: South African diver plays his part in saving trapped boys

Some heroes wear oxygen tanks, rather than capes.

Thai cave rescue South African diver

Leandro Gerardo, reporting for duty. (Dwayne Saunders / Instagram)

The world watched in hope rather than in expectation this week, as 12 boys and their soccer coach fought for their lives during the Thai cave rescue.

As Good Things Guy reports, there was a South African influence on the mission.

Scenes of joy erupted when the twelfth and final boy was extracted from the cave and taken to safety. After 17 days trapped in a cold, dark hole, they had defied the odds and escaped to freedom.

Who is Leandro Gerardo?

One of the brave divers who helped these kids navigate their way through treacherous waters was Leandro Nicolas Gerardo. He was born in Argentina, but grew up in South Africa and attended Pinetown High School in KZN as a boy.

He offered his services to the rescue teams in Chiang Rai, and took time off work to fly from his home in Bangkok and volunteer with fellow divers.

Thai cave rescue gets South African assistance

He and his team operated on “Chamber 3” – a section of the caves that plunder depths of 2.5km and feature severely dangerous twists and turns. They were responsible for transporting oxygen and medical equipment to the exhausted boys.

Leandro’s contribution was made public by one of his old Pinetown school buddies. Dwayne Saunders shared a post to Instagram, talking about the pride he had for his friend who was helping out at the scene of a modern-day miracle.

The diver’s sister then shared that post to Facebook, which featured some cool snaps of Leandro in action:

“Proud is an understatement! My brother is an absolute legend. Well done to Leandro and every person involved in that intense rescue operation.”

“In the words of Jack – ‘Uncle Leo is so brave, like a superhero’ – We love you champ!”

Leandro and his team. (Dwayne Saunders / Instagram)
Leandro in the thick of the action. (Dwayne Saunders / Instagram)
A glimpse underground. (Dwayne Saunders / Instagram)