Humane Society Awards Presented – Galiwinku
Thursday 07-Jan-2016 12:27
Commissioner Reece Kershaw today travelled to Galiwinku to present awards to six men involved in the rescue of three girls swept away from a beach near the community in February 2012.
The men were presented the awards from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia.
Eddie Dhurrkay, and a 23-year-old man who cannot be named for cultural reasons immediately swam out to save the girls who were carried out to sea after they became caught in a rip caused by the incoming tide and a rapidly approaching storm.
The three girls were successfully rescued after the 23-year-old man and Mr Dhurrkay helped them back to the shallow water, where they were assisted by Remote Sergeant Josef Hart and medic Peter Power.
Constable First Class Ben Parfitt and Henry Burarrawanga were working on a police vessel when they were alerted to the situation. Upon their arrival at the scene, Mr Burarrawanga saw a girl floating in the water and jumped in, assisting her until he was helped by Remote Sgt Hart and Dr Power to bring her to the shore.
Tragically, shortly after successfully getting one of the girls to shore, the 23-year-old man was lost underwater and drowned.
He was awarded the Society’s Posthumous Medal.
Mr Dhurrkay was presented a Silver Medal, Constable First Class Parfitt and Mr Burarrwanga were presented Bronze Medals, while Sgt Hart and Dr Power received Certificates of Merit.
Mr Kershaw said all of the men showed “selfless dedication to helping our mates and looking out for our children”.
“When these men acted immediately to save the lives of three young girls who were in a perilous situation they displayed the courage and conviction they were doing the right thing.
“The three children were saved thanks to the actions of these brave men.
“I have no doubt they would do the same thing again if placed in a similar situation. They may think and believe they are not heroes, but in my view, and the view of many – they are.”