THE mother of a diver who helped rescue children stuck in a flooded cave is disappointed he has been overlooked in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours.

Tim Acton, 39, was involved in the incredible operation in June when 12 players from a youth football team called the Wild Boars and their coach got stuck in a cave system in Tham Luang, Thailand for 17 days.

Expert diver Mr Acton, who has lived in the country for more than a decade and runs a hotel there but is originally from Wrabness, was contacted by colleagues in the Thai Navy Seals to help out with the rescue and carried oxygen tanks and stretchers as the youngsters were miraculously brought out.

The operation was one of the most complicated every undertaken because of the makeup of the terrain and the fact many of the boys had not learned to swim.

But while other Brits involved in the rescue received MBEs, the George Medal for bravery and the Queen’s Gallantry Medal, Mr Acton has missed out on honours.

Mother Lynne said she was shocked.

“I think it is awful,” she said.

“I know he didn’t do it for recognition or reward but when you see everyone else get honoured it just feels wrong.

“Those boys became the world’s children and everyone was hoping and praying they were safe.

“We were so proud Tim became involved.”

Mr Acton received a letter of commendation from the Thai Government acknowledging his efforts, while he also accompanied Spanish friend Juan Fernando Raigal to Madrid who was given the Gold Cross of the Civil Order of Solidarity for his work in the caves.

Mrs Acton added: “It seems like the Spanish government can get it right.

“Everybody else seems to have been thanked.

“I would hope it is just an administrative error which has come about because he was from outside the British association and got involved because of his work with the Thai Navy Seals.”

Since the summer, Mr Acton has had to have major knee surgery after aggravating an injury in the caves and has helped raise money in memory of Saman Kunan – a retired Navy Sealman who suffocated during the rescue attempt.

Mrs Acton said: “It was a major surgery and since then the issues have been ongoing and he has helped raise a lot of money.”