Shark Hero recieves Award
Published: July 7, 2008 | 7169th good news item since 2003
A man who received a bravery award for swimming into the ocean to help a woman being attacked by a shark says he is no hero.
Queensland Governor Quentin Bryce presented seven bravery awards this morning.
When 21-year old Sarah Whiley was being attacked by a shark at Amity Point Beach of Stradbroke Island in January 2006, Josiah Topou swam into the ocean to help her.
He brought her back to the beach and tried to stop the bleeding but Ms Whiley later died in hospital.
Governor Bryce says Mr Topou showed splendid valour to plunge through the water.
But Mr Topou says he did not do anything heroic.
“I think Sarah was the real hero,” he said.
“I think she battled it, she battled the sharks, that’s why her hands were bitten.”
Mr Topou says he did not see the shark as he swam to her aid but thought he could help.
“If it’s a shark then maybe I can divert it a bit because I’ve heard of people kicking and punching sharks,” he said.
Travis Brown, Tim Gurry, Kirk Muir, Evan Winstanly, Donald Smith and Andrew Bartley received awards for helping victims of car accidents.