Quick instincts lead to Bravery Award

21 November 2019
Thanks to quick instincts Karla Goy was able to go from bystander to lifesaver when she saw a man in distress. 

While on the balcony of her Rivervale home in February this year, Karla noticed a man immersed in water, waving and yelling for help near the Maylands side of the Swan River. He was being pulled upstream by a strong current. 

While there were many onlookers watching from their balconies and on the banks of the river, no one was responding. The adrenalin kicked in and without hesitation, Karla ran from her home, navigated the steep bank of the river and dove in fully clothed. 

She credits her lifeguard experience with her quick and measured response, as she was trained to not only act to save a life, but to approach people safely.  She  swam across the river towards the man, but on approach could see that he was agitated so she remained a safe distance from him. She attempted to calm the man down, giving him clear instructions to assist him to return to shore. He was eventually able to safely exit the water and ran from the area. Karla provided valuable information to emergency services who were then able to locate the man nearby. 

Karla said she had never really thought about the bystander effect, but after this incident she and her dad kept thinking “if it wasn’t for us would someone else have gone in?”

A former pool lifeguard and open water swimmer, Karla put her training to good use. She demonstrated bravery in a crisis, acting thoughtfully and with great courage to avert a potential tragedy. Karla has been awarded the Gold Medallion Bravery Award for her outstanding efforts. 

Do you know anyone who has followed their instincts and helped save a life? Nominate them for a Bravery Award by clicking the link below. 
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