They said all the men had shown exceptional courage and expertise in their actions.
First on the scene was Vernon Unsworth who contacted the Thai authorities to allow his friends into the country to help.
John Volanthan from Bristol and Rick Stanton, 56, a former fireman followed thereafter. These two brave men were the first divers to reach the 12 boys and their coach perched up above the floodwaters deep inside Tham Luang cave in Chiang Rai.
Robert Harper from Somerset aged 70 aided them and has since returned back to the UK after being heralded by tourism minister Weerasak Kowsurat last week.
A further three men helped with the evacuation itself. These were Chris Jewell, Jason Malison and Tim Acton. Mr Malison once helped six British servicemen escape a cave in Mexico.
Mr Acton, 39, was invited by the Thai Navy Seals. He has lived in Thailand for 12 years, said Sanook.