Interview with David Koch - Sunrise

  • Transcript, E&OE

DAVIDKOCH: Joiningus now is Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. Good morning. An extraordinaryoutcome, the world is celebrating today. A truly international operational - 19Australians involved. Have you got word on how they are going this morning?

JULIEBISHOP: It isa remarkable outcome, the end of an extraordinary ordeal. There were in fact 20Australians directly involved in the rescue. I have been in contact with our Ambassadorand the Embassy in Bangkok overnight, and we understand that all are doingwell. All 12 boys and their coach are now in hospital obviously undergoing anassessment, and I understand that all our rescue team are fine and the whole internationalteam that was working under the fabulous leadership of the Thai authorities aresafe and well. We do of course recall that one volunteer did die in the courseof this incredible process of extracting the boys from the cave, and we feelfor his family, but there has now been this quite remarkable outcome. Theordeal is over.

DAVIDKOCH: Yes, andDr Richard Harris, the Australian, who the elite diving teams around the worldactually requested this bloke to come over – he was about to go cave diving onthe Nullarbor, broke his holidays. We are now learning he went in every day andmildly sedated the boys, followed each group out and wouldn't leave the caveuntil every boy was out, and then he went back the next day and the next day.This bloke has got to be Australian of the Year, doesn't he?

JULIEBISHOP: DrRichard Harris is internationally renowned for his expertise in cave rescue. Infact, he heads up an organisation on cave rescue. He is very well known to usin the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade because he has been one of thedoctors involved in our medical assistance teams that work on natural disastersthroughout the Pacific. He spent some years in Vanuatu working in the Port Vilahospital under the Australian aid program. So Dr Harris is an extraordinaryAustralian and he certainly has made a big difference to the rescue effort herein Thailand in this instance. I am hoping to speak to Thai Foreign Minister Donlater this morning, and I am sure that he will confirm that Dr Harris wasidentified by the British diving team, and then requested to be involved at thehighest levels within the Thai Government. So, we're just delighted that DrHarris, and his dive partner Craig Challen who is a vet from Perth was alsoinvolved, and between them and the rest of the Australian team, I believe wewere an integral part to the overall rescue.

DAVIDKOCH: Yes, hebrought every group of boys out. Just extraordinary stories coming out of thisrescue. A good news day, Julie Bishop. It's great to have you on talking aboutgood news. It is fabulous!

JULIEBISHOP: It isa wonderful story, and I think there is relief all around the world, jubilationaround the world.

DAVIDKOCH: Goodto see you.


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