2018 Bravery Awards - Jackson and Connor Evans

6 November 2018

Royal Life Saving WA recently commended 45 brave life savers at the 2018 Bravery Awards, two of whom were brothers Jackson and Connor Evans, who received a Gold Medallion and Gold Star Bravery Award respectively for their efforts in assisting a drowning man in Bali and saving his life.

In August of last year, brother’s Jackson and Connor were swimming at popular holiday destination, Kuta Beach in Bali, when they spotted someone in trouble about 50 metres from shore. Without hesitation they swam out to this person; when they got there Jackson realised the European man had been caught in a rip and was in trouble. The man’s head was only just above the water.

Thinking quickly Jackson assessed the situation and realised there was no way they would be able to take the man back to shore without a flotation aid. He then told his younger brother Connor to swim back in as fast as he could to get a board.

Jackson remarks "Responding to the incident required for my brother and I to remain calm. It was a pretty stressful situation but remembering my life saving training came into effect straight away and we managed to save a life."

Jackson stayed with the victim in the water but struggled to keep him afloat. The man could not understand English very well, which made the situation even more difficult. Connor was able to get a bystanders' surfboard from the beach and paddled back out to help Jackson.

Jackson tried to explain to the man that when they got him on the surfboard they needed to go parallel to the beach to get out of the rip. However, because the man could not understand English he panicked when he realized they were not heading towards the shore and let go of the board. Jackson was able to coerce the man back onto the board, and the brothers then swam him out of the rip.

They then swam alongside the man, dragging him to shore on the surfboard.

Throughout the rescue Jackson’s lifeguard training kicked in, allowing him to stay calm and tell his brother Connor what he needed to do to assist, while also reassuring the tourist that he was going to be okay. Thankfully the man, although very shaken and exhausted by the incident, did not require further medical treatment.

Jackson’s advice for others who find themselves in a similar situation is to "Do the best you can, keep calm, think clearly and act on your instincts."

Jackson received a Gold Medallion and Connor a Gold Star Bravery Award for their courageous efforts in saving a life. The Royal Life Saving Society WA congratulates and commends both brothers for their quick thinking and lifesaving skills.

If you would like to nominate someone for next year’s Bravery Awards, please click on the following link.

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