The Royal Humane Society of Australasia

THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA, PRESENTATION OF THE 2015 STANHOPE GOLD MEDAL

THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA, PRESENTATION OF THE 2015 STANHOPE GOLD MEDAL

at The Melbourne Town Hall Cnr Collins & Swanston Streets Melbourne
at 2.15pm
on Tuesday 24 May 2015

The Stanhope Gold Medal is an award of The Royal Humane Society (UK). It is the English’s Society’s highest award for the most meritorious case of bravery considered during the year. All kindred bravery organisations are asked to nominate their best cases for consideration for this important award. This is the tenth time that a nomination from The Royal Humane Society of Australasia has received this award. The 2015 Stanhope Gold Medal will be presented by His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia to:

Mr Murray Barnewall

who went to the rescue of a girl who had been washed off a jetty by a large wave at Port Campbell on 19 April 2014.



Media opportunities: Photos/vision of the presentation of the Stanhope Gold Medal; Mr Barnewall will also be available for interview after the presentation.

Contact:
Sue Cutler (03) 9650 3233 / 0400 441 467
E-mail: bravery@rhsa.org.au
Or visit our Website: www.rhsa.org.au



THE ROYAL HUMANE SOCIETY OF AUSTRALASIA INC

2015 STANHOPE GOLD MEDAL

MURRAY CHARLES BARNEWALL, Parks Ranger, aged 59 years, of Port Campbell, Vic, in going to the rescue of a girl who had been washed off a jetty by a large wave at Port Campbell on 19 April 2014.

At the time of the incident there was a king tide and a huge swell which caused many waves to crash onto the cliffs and over the jetty. The jetty was exposed to the full force of the Southern Ocean and the lower deck of the jetty and some coastal tracks and access had been closed off to the public due to the sea conditions.

At 3.30pm a visiting family consisting of a mother, father and 10 year old daughter and two other relatives walked onto the jetty. Almost immediately a huge wave crashed up and over the upper deck of the jetty. The 10 year old daughter fell over the hand rail and into the sea.

Mr Barnewall saw the father climb over the handrail and walk to the edge of the ledge and Mr Barnewall followed him. Mr Barnewall threw his keys out of his pocket and then dived head first into a wave, still fully dressed in jeans and boots. He was swept out close to the girl and he grabbed her arm.

He waited for the next wave and Mr Barnewall and the girl were washed under the jetty, past the concrete pylons and out the other side towards the shelf. As they approached the shelf he saw the father was standing there wanting to help. Mr Barnewall grabbed the girl and using the timing of the wave threw her towards the shelf where her father was situated but was unsuccessful and the girl rolled back into the water.

Mr Barnewall took hold of the girl as they were again washed out under the jetty. Mr Barnewall started to get tired but was able to get a foothold on a rock and leant into the current of water whilst holding onto the girl. He waited for the next wave and rode it in under the jetty towards the same shelf and threw the girl onto it, this time successfully.

Mr Barnewall was totally exhausted and clung to the rocks for some time while he regained his breath. He suffered numerous superficial cuts and abrasions to the inside of his forearms during the rescue.