Dr. Craig Challen SC OAM made headlines in 2018 when he assisted in the dive rescue of the Thai soccer team. Awarded a Star of Courage and an Order of Australia Medal for his bravery and problem-solving skills, Craig continues to inspire his audience with his heroic tales of cave diving.
One of the leading technical divers in the country, Craig explored some of the deepest depths within underwater caves as a member of the Wet Mules. Since the beginning of his diving career in the 1990s, Craig has explored the extension of Cocklebiddy Cave on the Nullarbor Plain, the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand, as well as a range of caves across China, Thailand, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.
Alongside dive partner Dr Richard Harris OAM, Craig was invited to collaborate on the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their coach from the Tham Luang Cave. With the international media spotlighting the incident, Craig joined a team of experts to solve the life-threatening situation. Working up to 14-16 hours a day, exploring multiple solutions to find the best outcome, Craig’s expertise was crucial in helping the transportation of the diving equipment to help the boys escape.
In recognition for his heroism, both Dr Richard and Dr Craig were awarded Australians of the Year in 2019, the first ever to receive a dual recognition. He was also awarded a Star of Courage and a Order of Australia for his “service to the international community”.
His book ‘Against All Odds’ recounts his experience in Thailand. Co-authored with Dr Richard, the book has become a defining example of Australian courage in the face of adversity. The event has also inspired a whole array of books, movies and documentaries that portray the rescue event that gripped the world.
Craig will demonstrate his bravery and resilience once again as a recruit on Channel Seven's SAS Australia 2023.
With an unparalleled sense of positivity and enthusiasm, Craig is one of Australia’s most inspirational heroes. Drawing on his past experiences, he inspires audiences to seize every opportunity that life has to offer, and to think outside the box when facing seemingly impossible problems.