Police bravery act in bay recognised

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser

Kurt McKain was not prepared to stand there and watch someone drown.

What followed was an instinctive decision to swim 250m to rescue a woman he had noticed struggling in the water at Koombana Bay in Bunbury in January last year.

“I just heard someone screaming for help, so I swam out with a torch to see if I could locate her,” he said this week.

“I wasn’t thinking about it.

“Someone needed help.

“I couldn’t stand and watch on the beach while someone drowned.”

The Albany-raised police constable and fellow Constable Jeremy Forster were honoured with a silver medallion emergency service award in Surf Life Saving WA’s Coastal Bravery Awards last Friday.

Currently stationed in Bunbury after joining the police force in 2012, Const. McKain said he was honoured to be recognised for the act of bravery for rescuing the 30-year-old woman, who had failed to return from her swim.

Const. McKain handed his gun to Const. Forster and began to swim out to the woman, who was then slipping under the water in the dimming light.

Once back-up arrived, Const. Forster also swam out to rescue the woman, who was eventually returned to the shore but required CPR until St John Ambulance arrived.

She was released from hospital and made a full recovery.

Bunbury officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Mal Jones praised the work of the officers.

“Without the decisive action taken by the officers after arriving on the scene, the outcome could have been very different and it’s unlikely this young lady would still be with us,” he said.

Const. McKain said he was surprised to learn he would receive an award for his act.

“I’m pretty happy and humbled to be presented with it,” he said. “I wasn’t expecting to get anything in return for the act.

“It’s nice to be recognised.”

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