Volanthen and fellow Brit Rick Stanton were the first rescuers to find the boys deep in the Tham Luang cave complex.
But perhaps most importantly, the pair thanked the very people they were saving.
2015 saw the release of The 33, starring Antonio Banderas and based on the rescue of thirty-three Chilean miners who were trapped inside the San José Mine for more than two months.
“How many of you?” he asked, a torch beam scanning the boys crowded on the bank.
“We were pleased and very relieved that they were alive”, Volanthen said.
Harris, an anesthetist and underwater cave explorer who is also known as Harry, was the last man out of the cave Tuesday.
Without passports, they are unlikely to be able to take up the invite from Manchester United FC to visit next season.
Sadly, soon after Dr Harris left the cave his father passed away suddenly. The former governor of Chiang Rai province, Narongsak Osatanakorn, the local official in charge of the rescue operation, told ABC News some of the boys were too weak to really walk.
“(The Australians) have been a big help, especially the doctor”, Mr Osotanakorn told 9NEWS reporter Ben Avery.
In reply he scrawled a note apologising to the parents, and vowing to take “the very best care of the kids”. He is a member of the British cave rescue council, and has been involved in previous rescues alongside Mr Stanton and Mr Mallinson, including a rescue mission in Mexico in 2004 which had certain similarities to the Thai situation.
When the boys entered the cave they each had a flashlight, they had one watch and one mobile phone with light until the batteries died.
Thai officials have been generous with their praise of foreign volunteers who were essential in the complicated search and rescue operation, including the two British divers who were the first to discover where the members of the Wild Boar soccer club were sheltering. “Be good people, be a force for good for your country”, Rear Admiral Apakorn Yuukongkaew, commander of Thailand’s navy SEALS unit, said in a message to the boys before boarding a flight from Chiang Rai.
The last five were reporting a lower fever, Thongchai said, and the one with signs of pneumonia was recovering and the three with an infection of the middle ear responded well to treatment. The team became captured within a cave in Thailand on June 23 and survived for 18 long days before being miraculously rescued by a courageous group of global divers.
However, the Thai caves where the boys were stranded are set to become a museum.