Police officers get awards for bravery
TWO police officers who rescued tourists from drowning at Mossman Gorge have been awarded for their bravery.
Mossman police officer-in-charge Sergeant Ed Lukin and Senior Constable Matt Smith plucked a man from swirling waters at Mossman Gorge on April 16, 2009.
Six months later the pair helped form a human chain to pull a floundering Melbourne couple from the popular swimming hole.
“I couldn’t leave Ed out there in his jocks, that’s my excuse for entering the water,” Sen Constable Smith joked.
“You can’t leave the Sergeant stranded in his undies.”
Sgt Lukin was recognised with the Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery and Sen Constable Matt Smith received the Commissioner’s Certificate of Notable Action for the initial rescue.
“We’re nominated for the first one we did but the second one was probably a lot hairier than the first one because the water was a lot faster and in more a precarious spot,” Sen Constable Smith said.
“The adrenalin takes over and your training kicks in. It’s not until afterwards that you think, ’Geez, that was a bit hairy’.”
Acting Deputy Commissioner Col McCallum on Tuesday presented the awards at a Queensland Police Service ceremony in Cairns.
Sen Constable Smith said it was an honour to be recognised for diving into the waters of Mossman Gorge.
“Police work by nature is a tough job and you’re heavily scrutinised by the media, the public and the police service so to get positive recognition for a job is nice,” he said.
“Those are the sort of jobs why people choose policing as a profession.
“You want to go home and be able to think that you saved someone or made a difference. That’s why I took on the job, so I get a chance to help people.”
Authorities said the second rescue, in February this year, could have been fatal.
All three tourists who were saved by the police officers escaped unharmed.