Darren Flanagan

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"The Gun" behind the Beaconsfield mine rescue

Darren Flanagan was crucial to the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from the infamous Beaconsfield mine disaster.

Nicknamed “The Gun” by Todd and Brant, he was the man who charged and fired 65 shots of explosives that eventually released them from their tomb 925m underground.

Flanagan’s electrifying, emotional and detailed story about one of Australia’s most dramatic mine rescues inspires and impresses. His story has captivated corporate audiences and viewers of programs including Sunrise at Seven, The Today Show, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.

About Darren Flanagan:

Darren’s quiet life changed the night he was picked up in a private Lear Jet and taken to the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania where he was to play an essential role in one of Australia’s most dramatic rescue operations.

For a full week after his arrival, Darren was underground test blasting on the 630m level to simulate something he’d hoped he would never do – something that had never been done before in the world.

Using specialist explosives Darren began blasting his way toward the two trapped men. He worked in a 16 metre long cracked and broken tunnel, just one metre in diameter and almost 1km beneath the earth’s surface for 29 hours straight, soaked to the bone from ice cold water.

Firing that very first shot was the hardest thing Darren ever did in his life. He was petrified and so were Todd and Brant. The problem was that every other method to reach the boys had already been tried and failed. The blasting was their last chance.

Darren crawled over razor sharp rocks, letting off 65 explosions – all the time in contact with Todd and Brant by phone. The tension in the air as Darren prepared the final shot was unbelievable. Amazingly, Darren was able to bring the rescuers to within less than 30 centimeters of Todd and Brant. His extraordinary courage and incredible achievements when faced with natural disaster demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to perform under extreme pressure.

Darren has received hundreds of letters from all over the world recognising him as the man who blasted the miners to freedom. Some people have even called him the new Red Adair. The most treasured letter though is from Todd, which simply says ‘thanks for saving my life’.

In an emotional and truly memorable session, Darren will share his story and in doing so, demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to show unrelenting spirit and perform under extreme pressure when faced with a set of extraordinary circumstances.

Darren’s presentations are always passionate and thrilling however Darren includes a mix of humour as well to ensure audiences are taken on a roller coaster ride. He draws guests into a real life drama. His presentation and stories are truly memorable. Darren is considered by the industry to be one of the very best motivational and inspirational speakers in Australia.

Darren Flanagan talks about:

  • Risk Management
  • Achieving against all odds
  • Persistence
  • Think outside the square
  • Working under pressure
  • Teamwork
  • OHS
  • Mental Health

Client testimonials

Darren Flanagan

"The Gun" behind the Beaconsfield mine rescue

Quick Contact

Darren Flanagan

"The Gun" behind the Beaconsfield mine rescue

Darren Flanagan was crucial to the rescue of Todd Russell and Brant Webb from the infamous Beaconsfield mine disaster.

Nicknamed “The Gun” by Todd and Brant, he was the man who charged and fired 65 shots of explosives that eventually released them from their tomb 925m underground.

Flanagan’s electrifying, emotional and detailed story about one of Australia’s most dramatic mine rescues inspires and impresses. His story has captivated corporate audiences and viewers of programs including Sunrise at Seven, The Today Show, A Current Affair and 60 Minutes.

About Darren Flanagan:

Darren’s quiet life changed the night he was picked up in a private Lear Jet and taken to the Beaconsfield mine in Tasmania where he was to play an essential role in one of Australia’s most dramatic rescue operations.

For a full week after his arrival, Darren was underground test blasting on the 630m level to simulate something he’d hoped he would never do – something that had never been done before in the world.

Using specialist explosives Darren began blasting his way toward the two trapped men. He worked in a 16 metre long cracked and broken tunnel, just one metre in diameter and almost 1km beneath the earth’s surface for 29 hours straight, soaked to the bone from ice cold water.

Firing that very first shot was the hardest thing Darren ever did in his life. He was petrified and so were Todd and Brant. The problem was that every other method to reach the boys had already been tried and failed. The blasting was their last chance.

Darren crawled over razor sharp rocks, letting off 65 explosions – all the time in contact with Todd and Brant by phone. The tension in the air as Darren prepared the final shot was unbelievable. Amazingly, Darren was able to bring the rescuers to within less than 30 centimeters of Todd and Brant. His extraordinary courage and incredible achievements when faced with natural disaster demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to perform under extreme pressure.

Darren has received hundreds of letters from all over the world recognising him as the man who blasted the miners to freedom. Some people have even called him the new Red Adair. The most treasured letter though is from Todd, which simply says ‘thanks for saving my life’.

In an emotional and truly memorable session, Darren will share his story and in doing so, demonstrate the capacity of ordinary people to show unrelenting spirit and perform under extreme pressure when faced with a set of extraordinary circumstances.

Darren’s presentations are always passionate and thrilling however Darren includes a mix of humour as well to ensure audiences are taken on a roller coaster ride. He draws guests into a real life drama. His presentation and stories are truly memorable. Darren is considered by the industry to be one of the very best motivational and inspirational speakers in Australia.

Darren Flanagan talks about:

  • Risk Management
  • Achieving against all odds
  • Persistence
  • Think outside the square
  • Working under pressure
  • Teamwork
  • OHS
  • Mental Health

Client testimonials

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