Dr Craig Challen is set to join ‘Cocaine Cassie’, Boyd Cordner and 11 other Australian celebrities as one of the recruits on SAS Australia 2023. The Western Australian of the Year for 2019 and decorated technical diver is skilled in the art of handling high pressure situations with precision.
But will he survive the missions from SAS Australia‘s DS Team? Here’s what we know about Dr Craig Challen’s abilities.
SAS Australia 2023: Who Is Dr Craig Challen?
Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes, they wear wetsuits, and Dr Craig Challen is a prime example. The SAS Australia 2023 recruit and retired veterinarian played a vital role in the rescue of 12 soccer players from a flooded Thailand cave. He’s also set a number of records for depth while diving in the Pearse Resurgence, New Zealand.
Outside his decades of explorative and technical diving experience, Craig maintains his adrenaline junkie status as a skilled helicopter and airplane pilot.
What Did Craig Challen Do in the Cave Rescue?
In June 2018, a soccer team in Thailand and their assistant coach went to explore the Tham Luang cave — one of their favourite past times. It was a celebration for a teammate’s 17th birthday. The group of young boys quickly found themselves moving deeper into the cave to escape rising water levels and flooding. Eventually, they became trapped, and the team was stuck for nine days.
Dr Craig Challen and his long time diving partner, Dr Richard Harris, were asked to assist the rescue team. Because of his depth records, Craig was one of the go-to consultants for technical expertise during the rescue. He worked very closely with professional anaesthetist, Richard to assess and sedate the team of young boys to prepare them for extraction.
“They did have some sedation to keep them calm, because the worst thing that could happen would be one of those guys panicking,” he said in a 2018 interview with ABC.
Will Dr Craig Challen be just as good at handling the pressure on SAS Australia 2023? We’ll find out soon enough…
The new season of SAS Australia premieres in October on Channel 7 and 7plus. You can stream previous seasons online at 7Plus.
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