Two north coast residents have been recognised in this year’s bravery awards for going to the rescue of shark-attack victim Tadashi Nakahara in the surf at Shelley Beach last year.
A further three received a group citation for coming to the rescue of two farmers caught in floods near Lismore.
Dr Hugh Giles, of East Ballina, received the Star of Courage for his efforts to help Mr Nakahara swim to the safety of nearby Speeds Reef, despite the presence of the shark.
Matthew Meadows, also of East Ballina, was awarded a Bravery Medal for his efforts to help save Mr Nakahara,
Mr Meadows also paddled out and took the injured man from Dr Giles and began to move Mr Nakahara towards the shore.
Other surfers then re-entered the water and helped to bring him ashore but Mr Nakahara subsequently died as a result of his injuries.
Group citation for flood rescue
Three members of the Lismore SES received a citation for rescuing two farmers caught in floodwaters in June last year.
Paul Barry, Snr Const John Stirling and Leading Snr Const Amanda Vidler boarded a flood boat, and began looking for the two men in the treacherous water.
On locating the men in the fading light they could see that both were close to exhaustion and the fast flowing water was now at chest height. The younger man was holding onto the older man, who was a non-swimmer, to prevent him from being swept away.
One of the members remained with the younger man while the older was loaded into the flood boat and taken to safety. By this time the water was lapping the faces of the SES member and the younger man.
The boat returned and the men were pulled aboard and transported to higher ground and safety.