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Editions

Local resident awarded for saving drowning man

06 Dec 2016

Local resident awarded for saving drowning man Image

Docklander Kebrasca King was last month awarded for his brave act of saving a drowning man near the Webb Bridge.

Mr King said he was walking with his wife Amber in the late afternoon of November 12, 2014 when they stopped on the bridge to watch a man operating a drone from the nearby bank at the ANZ Centre.

But, he said, the drone failed and dropped into the water, prompting the operator to take his shoes off and jump in after it.

What should have been an entertaining scene soon turned into a matter of life and death when it became apparent that the man could not swim.

“He was wearing a puffer jacket and jeans which didn’t take long to become water-logged,” he said. “He sort of dog-paddled out to the middle of the river before realising that the drone was gone and he should try to get back.”

“I’ll never forget his screams. He knew this was the end,” he said.

Once he realised what was happening and that no one else was going to help, Mr Kebrasca ran from the bridge, shed most of the clothing and dived into the river.

“He had gone under by this stage but I found him and pull him back up to the surface,” he said.

Although never formally trained in lifesaving, he turned the man on his back and swam with him back to the bank, where he arranged him on his side to allow the water he had swallowed to escape.

“You pick these techniques up,” Mr Kebrasca joked. “I’ve watched Bondi Rescue and Baywatch!”

Water police soon attended and Mr Kebrasca was able to return home, shower and change and continue on to an event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

It was the water police officer in attendance who nominated Mr Kebrasca for his Certificate of Merit which was presented by Governor Linda Dessau at Government House on November 14.

“It’s obviously not the reason you do these things, but it is nice to be recognised,” he said. “It was just an instinctive reaction, seeing someone in trouble.”

The drowning man has never made contact.

Mr Kebrasca has lived in Docklands for eight years and also operates his marketing business here.

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