Craig Challen is an Australian cave explorer and member of the Wet Mules diving group. After commencing cave diving in the 1990s he was an early adopter of closed-circuit mixed gas rebreathers.
Notable explorations include the extension of Cocklebiddy Cave on the Nullarbor Plain of Australia in 2008 and the Pearse Resurgence in New Zealand over the last 10 years. He has additionally explored caves throughout Australia and New Zealand and in China, Thailand, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands.
Craig also has an avid interest in shipwreck diving and has explored sites over the last 15 years in the South China Sea, Solomon Islands, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
A veterinary surgeon by profession, he founded the Vetwest (later Australian Animal Hospitals) group of veterinary practices in 1993 and ran it until selling his interest and retiring in 2017.
Craig is also an enthusiastic helicopter and aeroplane pilot.
In July 2018 Craig participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue of 13 people in Thailand. He has been named as the 2019 Australian of the Year for Western Australia and the joint 2019 Australian of the Year with his dive partner Richard Harris.
The hidden benefits of risk | Craig Challen | TEDxPerthFollowing his involvement in the extraordinary Tham Luang Cave rescue, Craig challenges our aversion to risk and shows how learning to embrace it makes for a richer and more rewarding life. A technical cave diver and retired veterinary surgeon, Craig was the joint founder of Vetwest Animal Hospitals (later Australian Animal Hospitals). An avid cave diver since the early 90s he has explored caves and shipwrecks including in Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand and the Cook Islands. In 2018 Craig participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue of 13 people in Thailand. For his contribution, he was awarded the Star of Courage, the Medal of the Order of Australia, and was jointly named 2019 Australian of the Year with his long-standing dive partner Richard “Harry” Harris.
Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen | Against All Odds | Saxton SpeakersIn June & July 2018, millions of people around the world watched and waited for news on the Wild Boar soccer team who were trapped deep in a cave in Thailand. For the very first time and with never-before-heard details, the two Australians at the heart of the operation, Dr Richard (Harry) Harris and Dr Craig Challen discuss the heartbreaking and terrifying realities they faced while attempting to rescue 15 boys whose lives were in their hands.
Against All Odds by Dr Richard Harris and Dr Craig Challen - InterviewThai cave rescue divers, Dr Richard (Harry) Harris and Dr Craig Challen share their incredible insider account in AGAINST ALL ODDS. In June & July 2018 the world's attention was on a cave in Thailand and the 15 children trapped within. It is a story of two Australian's who became international heroes - it is a story of determination, cunning and triumph that will long be remembered.
Thai Cave Rescue Divers Share Their Remarkable Story | Studio 10It was the story that gripped the entire world. Aussies Craig Challen and Richard Harris were part of the rescue team that saved a Thai soccer team from a flooded cave in 2018. Now, they're sharing their story in the new book 'Against All Odds'.
Craig's story is still a very engaging one, years on from the incident and he is very comfortable telling it. He answered the questions from the audience well and in fact, I wish we had allo ... keep readingwed more time for audience interaction. Craig was very gracious to stay with guests at the networking function and talk to them all evening. Imagination Sydney