COLLEAGUES of a Stourport IT firm senior manager have spoken of their pride in her role in helping rescue a young football team from a Thai Cave.

Emma Porter, head of legal and HR at OGL Computer, played a key part in helping free the 12 boys and their football coach who had been trapped in the cave for nearly two weeks earlier this summer.

In her role as secretary of the British Cave Rescue Council, Emma ran the control centre of the UK operation and organised manpower and equipment to be sent to Thailand at short notice.

Her partner Mike Clayton also flew to Thailand to carry out a support role on the surface to take pressure off the divers and enable them to focus on the rescue inside the cave.

The couple, along with other members of the British Cave Rescue were also thanked personally by Prime Minister Theresa May for their contribution during a visit to Downing Street last month.

Neil Morris, a director at OGL Computer 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.”

He added: “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 two kilometres in, with heavy rains forecast that would cause the water levels to rise even further together with diminishing air quality.

“Working in IT has its challenges, but nothing compares to this.”

Throughout the rescue Emma was available 24/7 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.