Bravery Awards 2018 - Mark Skrzypek

10 October 2018

In July this year, Mark Skrzypek was performing his role as the Harbour Master at Fremantle Sailing Club. He was driving the Fremantle Sailing Club boat, named Success with several passengers on board, when he noticed another member standing on the back of his own boat.

At first Mark thought nothing of it, but then remembered that he’d been told this member had been suffering some mental health issues.

Mark felt as though something wasn’t right, and when he turned back to look again the member was not there. At that moment Mark knew that the man had jumped into the water, and his mental health had led to an emergency. With no one else on-board Success who was able to drive the boat, Mark quickly put the boat in neutral, grabbed a knife and a lifejacket and jumped into the water to assist the man.

When Mark reached the submerged man, he was unconscious, and Mark realised that something was weighing him down. Mark managed to hold the man out of the water while he investigated, discovering that an outboard engine was tethered to his ankle. He swam down and cut the rope before taking the unconscious man to a nearby boat and pushing him aboard. The man then regained consciousness.

‘At the time my focus was getting in the water as quickly as I could, the man had an engine tied to him, so it was imperative to think quickly and clearly and act accordingly.’

Mark was scratched, and his shoulders sore, but ultimately was glad that he was able to provide help and support to this man in very difficult circumstances. The man was taken to hospital for further treatment.

Mark remarked after the incident, ‘If you see someone who needs help you do what you need to do to get what needs doing done and I did what I did because it was necessary to save a life, I didn’t expect anything in return’.

The Royals commend Mark on his quick thinking and bravery which culminated in him saving a life and congratulate him on being awarded a Gold Medallion Bravery Award.

If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide please call Lifeline 13 11 14.

If you wish to nominate someone for next year's Bravery Awards, please click the link below.

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