The family of a B.C. diver is describing the stress they faced as he assisted an international effort to rescue 12 trapped boys and their soccer coach from Tam Luong cave system in Thailand.
Erik Brown from Langley, B.C. has worked as a diver and technical instructor, earning a degree of fame since leaving Canada a decade ago.
Last week, he joined the international effort to rescue the Wild Boars and their coach – who were trapped three kilometres inside the caves.
The boys were rescued over three separate trips, with a team of divers guiding them from the partially filled cave they were stuck in.
"The first day-and-a-half he wasn't sure if they needed him, so he wasn't sure if he was going to go back to Koh Tao, where he is residing now," Dorothy Brown, Erik's mother, told CTV Vancouver. "Then all of a sudden I get an email 'OK, mom, I won't be able to talk to you for a few days, probably, because I'm going in.'"
According to reports, Brown and colleagues Mikko Paasi and Claus Rasmussen were involved in rescuing the last group of boys trapped in the cave.
Brown's family says they waited anxiously to hear any scrap of good news.
"I was nervous and waiting all night for the email coming in that he was safe," Dorothy said.
Family members say Brown kept them updated with short emails between dives, usually just confirmations that he had made it safely out of the caves.
Brown's brother Kirk paid tribute to his work helping the boys.
"I said I wouldn't use the term, because he wouldn't, but he's very brave," said Kirk.