Local men in bravery gongs

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SLS WA Coastal Bravery Awards recipients Bill Marshall, Kris Mihal, Angus Wyatt and Ross Wegner with WA Governor Kim Beazley.
Camera IconSLS WA Coastal Bravery Awards recipients Bill Marshall, Kris Mihal, Angus Wyatt and Ross Wegner with WA Governor Kim Beazley. Credit: Sarah Ison

The courage and quick thinking of four men who performed a “miracle” rescue at deadly rock fishing spot Salmon Holes has been recognised at the Coastal Bravery Awards.

Mt Barker man Angus Wyatt, Perth schoolteacher Kris Mihal, and Albany father and son-in-law duo Ross Wegner and Bill Marshall, rescued two men off the rocks at Salmon Holes last April.

Mr Wegner was with his family that day when he saw the two Afghani men, who were fishing off a rock ledge at the time, swept into the water by a big wave which snapped their safety ropes off the anchor point.

Together with other onlookers at the beach, including Mr Wyatt and Mr Marshall, Mr Wegner jumped into the water and dragged the fishermen to safety.

Mr Mihal then performed CPR with the help of Mr Wegner’s wife, Joanne, who said it was a “miracle” the pair survived.

After the rescue, Mr Marshall said only one of the men was conscious when he was pulled from the water.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘Am I alive?’” Mr Marshall said last year.

Their efforts earned them Silver Medallions at Surf Life Saving WA’s Coastal Bravery Awards in Perth on Friday.

“Once the rescuers had dragged the fishermen to safe ground, others stepped in to assist, administering first aid and CPR to the men, one of whom had stopped breathing and was without heartbeat,” the awards citation said.

Mr Wegner said he wanted to thank other bystanders who were present that day but did not stick around to get their details recorded.

“I was very honoured to receive the award. I’m sure there were other people who were at the beach that day who helped and risked their life but weren’t recognised,” he said.

“I’m sure anyone who was on that beach that day would have done the same. It’s just human nature.”

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