Nearly 150 guests gathered at Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) annual Coastal Bravery Awards ceremony this morning, as forty-one individuals were recognised for acts of bravery performed on the WA coast.
This year marks the fourth ceremony, with a break in 2020 due to COVID restrictions.
Amongst the Gold Medallion for Exceptional Bravery recipients were the three young surfers who went to the aid of fellow surfer Phil Mummert, who had been bitten on the leg by a great white shark while surfing at Bunker Bay last July. With the shark still in the vicinity, Alex Oliver, Jess Woolhouse and Liam Ryan went to the aid of Mr Mummert and assisted him safely to shore.
Also recognised with a Gold Medallion, the highest honour available, was Geraldton teacher Justin Wilson, who in 2016 risked his own life to go to the aid of one of his students who had become trapped between two boulders while surfing at Geraldton Beach. Along with Mr Wilson, eight West Australian Police Officers and a fellow teacher received the Silver Medallion for Bravery for their part in the rescue.
SLSWA President Craig Smith-Gander said that whilst many lifesaving acts occur on the WA coast every year, a select few require members of our community to willingly put their own lives at risk to go to the aid of another.
“As the peak coastal safety organisation in Western Australia, Surf Life Saving WA believes it appropriate to formally recognise these individuals and the contribution that they make to coastal safety in WA,” he said.
“Sometimes these acts require the rescuers to place themselves in harm’s way, and it is these incredible acts of bravery that we hope to capture and recognise through the Coastal Bravery Awards,” he said.
A further twenty-two recipients received the Silver Medallion for Bravery, including the Citizens and Emergency Services Awards, while six recipients under sixteen years of age were presented with the Bronze Medallion for Courage – Youth Award.
For a full list of recipients, including details of their acts, and photos from the award ceremony, visit the Coastal Bravery Awards website.
Nominations for the 2022 Coastal Bravery Awards are now open. For further information or to nominate a deserving individual visit www.coastalbraveryawards.com.au
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