A man who dived into open water to rescue a shark attack
victim on the NSW mid north coast has been awarded one of
Australia's highest bravery awards.
Rowan Cutbush was parasailing with two friends at Jimmies
Beach, near Port Stephens, when one of them fell off a
wakeboard into the water.
The woman was then attacked by a shark, suffering injuries to
her arm, neck and face.
On seeing the attack, Mr Cutbush dived off his vessel and
swam around 20 metres through "bloodied water" to reach the
Mr Cutbush then held onto the woman until the pair was pulled
back to the vessel with a rope.
With a mate, Mr Cutbush assisted the woman out of the water
then treated her severely lacerated arm, before driving the
vessel at high speed back to ambulance officers at a nearby
The woman received treatment for lacerations sustained in the
Mr Cutbush was awarded one of 14 Aussies to this year win a
Bravery Medal from Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
The Bravery Medal is awarded for acts of "bravery in
It is the third highest Australian Bravery Decoration behind
the Star of Courage and the Cross of Valour.
Ms Bryce said the 2014 national bravery awards recognised
"the heroic actions of those amongst us who have placed the
safety and lives of others before their own".
"We are privileged to have such role models in our society,
and it is an honour to be able to recognise their acts of
selfless bravery and thank them publicly for their brave
actions," she said in a statement.
There were 47 Australians awarded national bravery
decorations this year.