World renowned cave explorer Rick Stanton has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen's New Years’ honours list.
Rick is also a firefighter of some 23 years standing and has received the honour in recognition of his service to the communities of the West Midlands as a firefighter, and for the cave diving rescue services he carries out on a voluntary basis both in the UK and abroad.
It is the second honour of 2012 for Rick who was awarded a Bronze Medal from the Royal Humane Society for his efforts two years ago to recover the body of French diver Eric Establie, who was trapped at the Ardeche Gorge, near Marseille.
When we spoke to Rick earlier this morning he said he is very happy to be awarded the MBE.
"It isn’t particularly unusual for me to get official looking letters in the post because of my international rescue work, but when I got notification of this on behalf of the Palace I was absolutely astounded. I'm just doing work I enjoy to the best of my ability, but I'm thrilled to be awarded the MBE."
Rick has been involved in a number of rescue missions including six British soldiers who had become trapped in rising flood water in a cave in Mexico.