Toowoon Bay’s Peter Crane is one of 48 people whose brave deeds were honored with an Australian Award for Courage by Governor General David Hurley.

Australian Valor Decorations recognize acts of valor in which people selflessly put themselves at risk to protect the life or property of others.

“Those recognized today deserve to be celebrated by our entire nation,” said the Governor General when the honors were announced on Wednesday, August 18.

“In a dangerous situation, each recipient was brave, selfless, and risked their own safety to help someone else,” he said.

“Each of today’s recipients has been in a dangerous situation … and while each has a different background and circumstance, there is a common trait that speaks to their personality and the best of our community.

“You are inspiring and I thank you for your courage and congratulate you on the recognition you are receiving today,” said the Governor General.

Toowoon Bay’s Peter Crane received the Commendation for courageous behavior when he and two others rescued a man from the rough surf in Byron Bay on March 11, 2015.

Alexander Watkiss of Warners Bay on Lake Macquarie and Senior Constable Jonathan Cartmill also received Commendation for courageous behavior regarding the incident.

That afternoon, in heavy surf, a swimmer got into trouble and called for help.

The sky was dark and it was starting to rain.

People on the beach noticed that the man was in trouble and was now about 130 meters from the shore.

Crane and Watkiss found a surfboard and boogie board and went into the rough water to get over the rough surf zone to the swimmer.

The swimmer, now cramped in both legs, was able to hold on to one of the boards while Senior Constable Cartmill swam out to the group.

He helped the swimmer onto the surfboard, and Crane and Watkiss shared the boogie board, and they all made their way back to shore through the rough swell.

A lifesaver on a jet ski arrived and brought the exhausted swimmer back to shore.

Then he made two trips to bring in the cop and Watkiss while Crane paddled back to shore on the boogie board.

Sue Murray