The Royal Humane Society of Australasia


His Excellency the Honourable Hieu Van Le AC, Governor of South Australia, will present three South Australians with The Royal Humane Society of Australasia bravery awards:

at 10.30am,on Tuesday 30 May 2017

at Government House, Adelaide

Ph: 0400 441 467

Two Bronze Medals and one Certificate of Merit recognize:
• The rescue of a man from drowning at Petrel Cove Beach on 24 December 2014.
• The attempted rescue of a man from drowning at Petrel Cove Beach on 25 April 2014.

The Royal Humane Society of Australasia, formed in 1874, is concerned with giving public recognition to acts of bravery by making awards to those who risk their own lives to save the lives of others.

Over 8,430 awards have been made in the Society’s 142 years’ history.



PETER JAMES LEE, of Parkside, SA

in going to the rescue of a man from drowning at Petrel Cove Beach, SA on 24 December 2014.

At approx 4.50pm a group of young men arrived at Petrel Cove Beach car park and proceeded down to the beach.

Ms Day and four other relatives were swimming at the time and noticed that some of the men they had seen in the car park had entered the water. Ms Day waded over to the men and warned them that “You’re too far over. It’s not safe. You have to swim over this way between the stairs”. Ms Day and her family then swam back to the beach.

At the same time Mr Peter Lee and his wife were at Petrel Cove and had been swimming. Mr Lee was aware of a permanent deep trough around the rocky outcrop to the western side of the sandy area of the beach where there was a permanent rip.

As Mr Lee was almost back to shore a man who he had spoken to whilst in the water started gesturing towards the rocky outcrop and asking Mr Lee if he could swim. Mr Lee initially ran towards the rocky outcrop and when he reached the area where the water got too deep he swam towards the rocky point. On reaching the rocky point Mr Lee observed a man being pulled out to sea. The man was not moving or struggling against the waves.

Mr Lee was then swept off the rocks and pulled out to sea in the rip. He swam parallel to the rip and his wife made her way towards him with a boogie board. Mr Lee grabbed the bogie board and his wife helped to pull him out of the rip. Mr Lee then ran into shore and around the back of the rocks to make his way to where he had seen the man floating in the water.

At the same time Ms Day heard shouts from some men standing on top of the rocks at the beach. She and her family ran towards the rocky outcrop and saw the men were pointing to someone struggling in the water.

Ms Day could not see anyone struggling in the water but entered the sea in a rock pool that looked relatively calm as she was aware of the dangers and the incoming waves. One of the men on the rocky outcrop pointed to a spot in the ocean just behind Ms Day. She turned and dove under water where about 1m from the surface she saw a man floating face down in the water. She briefly resurfaced for air, before diving back under the water and grabbing the man from behind, pulling him to the surface by holding onto him under his arms. Ms Day tried to keep the man’s head above water and she swam with him for 2m to the rocky outcrop where with the help of others he was pulled onto the rocks.

Mr Lee and others then commenced CPR on the man but he sadly passed away.

of SA

in going to the rescue of a man from drowning at Petrel Cove Beach, SA on 25 April 2014.

At 3.30pm Messrs Ashman and Craven were at Petrel Cove Beach when they were alerted to cries for help from people on the rocks on the western side of the beach.

Mr Craven saw a man had been swept out behind the furthest rock and he ran along the rocks and jumped into the water. Mr Craven swam approximately 5m and grabbed hold of the drowning man who was lying on his front. The rip at this time was very strong.

Mr Craven became exhausted and let go of the drowning man and was washed up onto some rock which resulted in him suffering cuts.

Mr Ashman, (who unfortunately could not attend the investiture), jumped into the water and held onto the drowning man but after some minutes he also began to tire and finally had to let go of the man. Mr Ashman then scrambled up some rocks, totally exhausted and was then winched off the rocks by a helicopter.

Sadly the man was swept away and drowned.