Surf Life Saving WA launches Coastal Bravery Awards

Joanne Lucas. Picture: Martin Kennealey
Joanne Lucas. Picture: Martin Kennealey

SURF Life Saving WA has launched the Coastal Bravery Awards to recognise people who have risked their lives to save others along the WA coast.

The organisation is calling for nominations in the awards, which will highlight outstanding acts of bravery.

General manager Chris Peck said many lifesaving acts occurred on the WA coast every year but only a select few required community members to willingly put their own lives at risk to save the life of another.

“Each year, several thousand West Australians find themselves in life threatening situations on our coast, and owe their lives to the surf lifesavers, emergency service personnel, and members of the general public who respond to their call for aid,” he said.

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“Sometimes, these acts require the rescuers to selflessly 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.”

Awards ambassador Joanne Lucas, who received several bravery awards after rescuing a man attacked by a shark in Albany in 2008, said the state’s beaches are a big part of people’s lives.

“These awards recognise that our coast is also unpredictable and volatile, and that it is easy to get in trouble,” she said.

“By raising awareness of and celebrating these brave acts, we also draw attention to the education, training and services needed to keep our coast safe.

“Recognition by peers is also an important part of the process for these incredible people who, in performing these acts of bravery, have risked their own lives.”

Categories include emergency services, lifesavers and youth awards.

Nominations close on April 17 and winners will be announced on May 5.