Lifesaving sacrifice recognised in award
Almost two years ago to the day, Jack Bray made the ultimate sacrifice.
Diving into treacherous seas east of Denmark to rescue his friend Erica who had been swept off rocks, his act of bravery continues to be remembered by his loved ones.
The selfless act at Boat Harbour in 2017, which led to him tragically losing his life, is today recognised posthumously with an Australian Bravery Medal.
On a camping trip on April 1, Mr Bray was showing Erica the sights when she was swept off the rocks into churning water.
Without concern for his own safety, the 31-year-old Perth man grabbed a boogie board and leapt into the 5m swell to rescue his Canadian friend after throwing an esky to keep her afloat.
The pair clung on to the boardfor more than an hour, 200m from the coast, until a wave pushed them back towards the rocks where Erica was able to climb to safety. But the same wave knocked Mr Bray off the board.
An extensive search by emergency crews was unsuccessful but Mr Bray’s body was recovered five days later.
Reflecting on her son’s bravery this week, mother Pauline Prouse said her family would be proud to receive the Bravery Medal as part of the Australian Bravery decorations.
“We are all very proud he has received it and the acknowledgement he gave the ultimate to save somebody else,” she said. “We would all rather he is with us but that is not to be. We just remember him like that and most of us still think he is going to walk through the door one day.”
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails