Bravery rewarded with NSW Maritime Medal
Two men involved in rescuing victims of a Sydney Harbour boating accident have received NSW Maritime Safety Medals for their bravery, Ports and Waterways Minister Joe Tripodi said today.
Sydney Ferries crewmen, Matthew O’Grady and Con Sakoulas, were first on the scene rescuing people involved in the collision of the Merinda and the Pam Burridge on Sydney Harbour on March 28, 2007.
“These men did not think twice before diving into the water to help rescue victims of a horrific boating accident,” Mr Tripodi said.
“Mr O’Grady and Mr Sakoulas were presented with a Maritime Medal in the category of Safety for their immense bravery in a rescue effort that will not be forgotten.
“They demonstrated the sort of selfless commitment to help others that epitomises the maritime, and Australian, tradition of providing assistance to those in need.”
The Maritime Medal presentation took place on the Tall Ship The James Craig.
Mr Tripodi said the Maritime Medal was designed to acknowledge those who made an outstanding contribution to the maritime community.
“Eight Maritime Medals were awarded in two categories – Safety and Community,” Mr Tripodi said.
“This award provides an opportunity to recognise role models in our maritime communities.”
“Other Maritime Medals were awarded for exemplary environmental work, or other activities to make the oceans and waterways safer, cleaner or more accessible.”
2008 NSW Maritime Medal recipients:
Ron Isaacs, Lake Cathie – Community Medal (posthumous) 50-year commitment to NSW Maritime Community
Paul Helmore, Ulladulla – Community Medal 45-year commitment to maritime community
David Johnston, Swansea – Community Medal Voluntary commitment to maritime projects
Matthew O’Grady, Bondi – Safety Medal Rescue effort
Con Sakoulas, Sydney – Safety Medal Rescue effort
William Dreckmeyer, Forster – Safety Medal 20-year commitment to marine rescue efforts
Shoalhaven Marine Rescue Assoc, Culburra – Safety Medal 30-year search and rescue efforts
Norman Muir Grant, Forster – Safety Medal 30 year commitment to search and rescue operations
Nominations for the 2008-09 Medal are now open.