My Beach

Over 160 guests gathered at the 2023 Coastal Bravery Awards ceremony last Friday morning, as thirty-one individuals were recognised for acts of bravery performed on the West Australian coast.

Amongst those recognised were five individuals who received the Gold Medallion for Exceptional Bravery, having placed themselves in extreme peril whilst going to the aid of others.

These individuals included Mr Ray Worrall who went to the aid of the occupants, including an 11-year-old girl, of a yacht that had sunk off the coast of Jurien Bay in April 2021. Mr Worrall’s bravery and leadership during the search were instrumental in saving the lives of those involved.

Dr Stephen Junk was recognised for his actions at Green’s Pool, Denmark when on multiple occasions and navigating dangerous conditions, he swam out to retrieve four men who had been caught up in turbulent waters and were unable to return to shore.

Ms Cassandra Jose was recognised for her actions in going to the aid of a shark bite victim near Eseprance in February 2022, while Mr Dane Holdman and Mr David Macmahon, as Surf Life Saving WA Emergency Response Jet Ski Operators, braved treacherous conditions to reach individuals who had been swept off rocks at Chapman Point in Esperance.

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”.

A further twenty recipients received the Silver Medallion for Bravery, in recognition of their actions. Amongst these individuals were Ewan Sayers, Hayden Sharpe, Tajh Fullgrabe and Lawson Thomas who witnessed a tragic shark attack off Port Beach, Fremantle in November 2021.

In their dinghies when the attack occurred, the foursome attempted to assist the victim and scare the shark away.

Losing sight of the individual and the shark, and despite witnessing the horrific event, the young men remained on the water, their primary concern to alert others to the danger.

Six recipients under sixteen years of age were also presented with the Bronze Medallion for Courage – Youth Award.

Since its inception, 152 individuals have been recognised for their actions through the Coastal Bravery Awards.

– END –

 Nominations for the 2024 Coastal Bravery Awards are now open. For further information or to nominate a deserving individual visit