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TROY Glover was cruising down a Northern Territory river, laughing with his family and friends about the seven crocodiles circling their two houseboats, when a freak storm hit.
The group of 12 suddenly found themselves getting whipped by 220km/h winds, causing one of the houseboats to capsize and leaving Mr Glover’s wife and a number of their friends trapped inside and underwater.
Without hesitation, Mr Glover dived into the Top End’s Mary River, which has one of the highest crocodile populations in the world, to try and help.
Mr Glover dived into the capsized boat three times, holding his breath for a long as possible before finally his wife came to the surface.
Nearby, Mr Glover’s friends Phillip Abram and Michael Jerram had been fishing in a tinny when the October 2013 storm hit.
They too jumped from the tinny and into the crocodile-infested water.
After a desperate search, the three men realised everyone was safe except for their friend Toni Forder.
That was when Mr Abram spotted her facedown, floating around 100m away from the two boats.
“Phil to me he is the real brave one, he dived straight into the water and swam towards Toni and she had to have been 100 metres away already and the water was heavily infested with very large crocodiles,” Mr Glover told SBS.
“When I saw that Phil and Michael were having trouble getting Toni onto the boat I also dived in and swam over to the little boat to help pull Toni in.”
The three men then drove more than 30km down the river to meet emergency services, performing CPR on the way but Ms Forder didn’t make it.
Today, the three men were among dozens of Aussies honoured for their bravery and going above and beyond to save someone else’s life.
Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove recognised 62 Australians for a Bravery Decoration, awarding Mr Abram and Mr Jerram with bravery medals and Mr Glover a commendation for brave conduct.
The Australian Bravery Decorations recognise members of the public who selflessly jeopardise their own safety to help others.
The awards define bravery in a crisis as willingly going from a place of safety to danger, or the choice to remain in danger, to provide help.
CHASED BY A GREAT WHITE SHARK
Teenagers Jae Waters and Thomas Harper were surfing at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina when they saw one of their mates Cooper Allen get attacked by a shark.
Mr Waters and Mr Harper wasted no time paddling to their friend, dragging the bleeding 16-year-old onto their boards and turning towards the shore.
The four-metre-long shark had freed itself of Mr Allen’s leg rope by that time and “began to pursue the boys at a close distance”.
Mr Allen was later treated for puncture wounds to his thigh at Lismore Hospital and his two friends, who saved his life that fateful September 2016 day, were honoured with bravery medals today.
RUNNING INTO A BURNING HOME
Daniel McMillan was standing outside a burning Perth home when he heard screams coming from inside.
Arming himself with a fire extinguisher, Mr McMillan ran into the home and remembered smelling something similar to “burnt bacon”.
That smell was coming from the children of Edward John Herbert, who in a drug-induced psychosis, had set his three-year-old daughter on fire and also doused her autistic sister with petrol.
“I’m not sure what was going through my mind. I wasn’t really thinking about it, that’s probably why I did what I did,” he told AAP.
Herbert lunged at his neighbour with a filleting knife that had a 20cm blade, attempting to stab Mr McMillan in the abdomen.
But Mr McMillan was able to dodge the attack and hit Herbert on the head with the fire extinguisher.
“I just did what I thought was right at the time. More people should do these things, then the world might be a better place.”
Herbert was sentenced to 17 years behind bars for the horror attack.
SAVING PEOPLE FROM A RIP
Gold Coast local Ryan Martin was awarded with a posthumous bravery award after he drowned while saving a boy from a rip.
It was Good Friday in 2016 and Mr Martin and his girlfriend were enjoying the day off when they noticed a mum and her daughter struggling.
Rihanna Milabo and her mum Shyra were in waist-deep water when a rip at the notorious Fingal Head swept them out to sea.
Mr Martin raced in to help the pair and kept the young girl afloat.
Exhausted, another man helping with the rescue urged him to swim in but Mr Martin refused to leave Rihanna.
Lifesavers rescued Rihanna, who was unconscious but when they went back to Mr Martin, he could not be saved.
Speaking to the Courier-Mail, Mr Martin’s brother Josh said: “We are so grateful that Ryan’s been publicly recognised for his bravery and ultimate sacrifice to save a life, but we will continue to miss him every day.”
WARDING OFF A DRUG-DEALING GANG
Kesley Burgess was born a hero, his mum said, but now — eight years after his death — his bravery is “cemented in history”.
Tracey Burgess could only watch as 25-year-old Kesley armed himself with a sword and stepped into their hallway to fight off a drug-dealing gang who had stormed their home in July 2010.
The invaders were armed with machetes and meat cleavers.
Kesley pushed his mother and girlfriend into a bedroom before striking one of the four thieves as they ransacked his home looking for drugs and cash. Another invader hit Kesley in the back, then the rest of the gang turned on him. “By the time my son got to the hospital there wasn’t a drop of blood left in him,” Ms Burgess told AAP.
“His wounds were like something you’d see in the third world. It shouldn’t happen here, not in Australia”.
Ms Burgess said her son was her “best friend”, her “rock”, her “everything” and the man of the house.
“He was a family hero even from when he was small, he just looked after his friends and his brothers,” she said.
“But — for what he did that night trying to protect us — I can’t find words. He gave his life for us.”
Ms Burgess said she’ll accept her son’s accolade “with a heavy heart” alongside his youngest brother, Jacob, who has had to lead the family in the wake of Kesley’s death.
“My first stop after that will be the cemetery,” she said.
“I’ll take it to him, I know it might sound silly to some people but I’ll go talk to him.” She said her son would have been thrilled to receive his commendation. “I raised my boys right,” she said.
“He’s a hero and I hope it’s cemented in history now.”
FACE-TO-FACE WITH A COLLAR BOMB
Police officer Matthew Bruce Warwick was another recipient, seven years after he helped Sydney schoolgirl Madeleine Pulver when a suspected collar bomb was strapped to her neck.
It was August 2011 when then NSW Police Senior Constable Warwick was called to Ms Pulver’s Mosman home.
Mr Warwick was working with the bomb detection dog unit and him and his police dog were tasked with sweeping the expansive home for explosives and later helping police negotiators inspect the device strapped to the teenager.
After a harrowing 10 hours, police determined the bomb was fake and managed to free her.
Some amazing feats but non First Aid orientated which is interesting. Book your first aid training at www.canberrafirstaid.com
— With Wires