A caving diver who helped rescue the 12 Thai schoolboys trapped last summer will talk about the Durham experience this spring.

Jason Mallinson was part of the team involved in the extremely difficult operation of guiding young footballers and their coach to freedom after their two-week stay in the flooded cave complex in Tham Luang Thailand.

Under the gaze of international television cameras, rescuers were watched by an impatient world who rejoiced at the release of the boys – discovered after nine days – released one by one, the last being released on the 17th day.

Spectators will now be able to hear about the situation when Mallinson explains that what the organizers say is "the real story behind the unprecedented rescue" as part of the Durham Adventure Festival which will be back in the city from April 26 to 28.

Jason Mallinson will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring
Jason Mallinson will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring

Mallinson will be one of the many international speakers present at the event, which will be attended by mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, who is now 84 years old. Amazonian explorer Ed Stafford and Olympic hopeful Shauna Coxsey.

Spectators will be treated to a host of real-life adventure stories, ranging from the extraordinary to the exhilarating, during the festival from Friday to Sunday which, along with discussions at Durham's Gala Theater. , will offer a film program to encourage more people to explore the outdoors and embark on their own adventures.

And to encourage them, there will be "base camps" installed in Gala Gallery and Millennium Place, with a free climbing wall; action of a bicycle display team; outdoor experts and free offers.

Caver Mallinson, who drove four of the jailed boys to safety after the cave flood last July and who set records of distance and depth in caves around the world during his career, will participate in a question and answer session. Answer session at the Gala Theater at 3 pm on Saturday.

Sir Chris Bonington will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring
Sir Chris Bonington will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring

Later in the day, at 5:30 pm, it will be the turn of the legendary mountaineer Bonington to talk about his exploits, including being the first Briton to climb the north wall of Eiger; leading the first ascent of the southern face of Annapurna – then the largest and most difficult climb of the Himalayas – and a successful expedition to achieve the first ascent of the southwestern face of 39; Everest in 1975, then reach the summit of Everest itself in 1985.

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Explorer Ed Stafford, holder of the Guinness World Record for being the first person to walk on the Amazon River, will be among the guest speakers at the Durham County Council Festival; he will speak on Saturday at 8 pm; and Shauna Coxsey, a "block" world champion – a form of climbing – who will give her a lecture at the theater on Sunday at 8 pm.

Coxsey is now facing a challenging year with the acquisition of two additional climbing skills before the sport debuted on three fronts at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

Jenny Graham will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring
Jenny Graham will come to the Durham Adventure Festival this spring

Jenny Graham, a Scottish endurance cyclist, has become the fastest woman in the world to ride a bike; Laura Bingham, who shared a world premiere by traversing the length of the third largest river in South America; Jenny Tough, whose mission is to run alone and without assistance in a mountain range on every continent; Ash Bhardwaj, traveler, writer and filmmaker, and Leo Houlding, mountaineer, mountain climber and high-level explorer.

The festival – whose inaugural event in 2018 has attracted thousands of people to Durham – is presented in partnership with the Kendal Mountain Festival and is also part of the 2019 Campaign, the Year of Culture.

Robin Byers, head of the Gala Theater, said, "This festival aims to showcase the best of adventure, exploration and endurance to encourage more people to explore the full. air.

"One of the keys to the success of the event is to welcome speakers who are leaders in their field, alongside ordinary citizens, who have accomplished extraordinary things.

"We hope to inspire people to share the adventure."

To view the full program of the Durham Adventure Festival, ticket prices and to book, click here or call the gala ticket office at 03000 266 600.