BRAVE HEROES HONOURED: Bruce Holla, Constable Drew Harold and Craig McPhillips received Queensland Police Bravery Medals for saving the lives of five people who capsized in the Mary River last year.
BRAVE HEROES HONOURED: Bruce Holla, Constable Drew Harold and Craig McPhillips received Queensland Police Bravery Medals for saving the lives of five people who capsized in the Mary River last year. Alistair Brightman

BRAVERY AWARDS: Crocodile warning can't stop river heroes

A CROCODILE warning sign didn't stop Drew Harold from diving into the Mary River to save five people from drowning.

In September last year, the Maryborough Police constable was one of the first in the water to rescue two adults and three children, when a small boat capsized near Lamington Bridge.

Yesterday, Constable Harold received a Queensland Bravery Award for his efforts at a Queensland Police Medal Presentation at the Hervey Bay Boat Club yesterday.

Craig McPhillips and Bruce Holla, two citizens who helped bring the boat and its passengers to safety, received the same awards for their heroic efforts.

The Bravery Award is one of the most prestigious decorations awarded in the police service, recognising acts of courage by members of the community.

Const Harold said the trio had to swim out to ferry the passengers to safety, eventually pulling all five and the boat ashore.

"Going with and against the tide, it was quite hard to swim back into shore,” Const Harold said.

"It wasn't too dangerous, but it was not knowing what's in the water was probably the most dangerous thing, especially when you see the crocodile warning sign there.

"We only had a short period of time to get the boat back in before it went down into the mangroves area.”

Mr McPhillips said one of the elderly men on the boat was panicking out of concern for the three children.

"The crocodile warning definitely makes you have a second look at it, but I think you'd still jump in and do what you can to save them,” Mr McPhillips said.

Having the prestigious title hasn't gone to Const Harold's head, who told the Chronicle he was "paid to jump in the water”.

"When I get there, I have a duty of care to do my best to save lives,” he said.

"We didn't even get time to spend with the people we rescued. Within 20 minutes I was tasked off to another job to a siege in Granville.

"To me, it's just another job.”



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