A Busselton-based police officer and a Capel resident have been hailed as heroes for demonstrating selflessness and bravery to provide assistance to others on our coastline. Senior Constable Robert Gaynor and Capel man Christian Boshoff were among 31 people who received awards during a Surf Life Saving WA Coastal Bravery award ceremony in Perth last Friday. Sen. Const. Gaynor, who received a silver medallion for bravery, was based in Dunsborough when he responded to a call reporting a man who had slipped from Sugarloaf Rock in Naturaliste on June 7, 2020, and was unable to swim to escape the surging waters. An onlooker with a drone lent assistance to locate the man, who was fortunately wearing a life jacket and had managed to climb back on to a rock. However, he was unable to return to safety because of fatigue, a steep rockface and the wet, slippery rocks surrounding him. With only a life ring, Sen. Const. Gaynor descended the rocks, navigating his way through a small crevice to go to his aid, shuffling along narrow ledges, and across slippery, precarious rocks to assist the man back to safety. Sen. Const. Gaynor said while providing assistance to the man was all in a day’s work in the ever-unpredictable life of a police officer, it was nice to receive recognition and show his family just some of what his work entails. “It was nice getting some good feedback at times because police officers don’t always get a lot and just to be able to share that with the family was nice and a good experience overall to receive the award,” he said. “There had been a few similar incidents in my time down in Dunsborough where people had been washed off the rocks and resulted in sea rescues and searches where people weren’t as fortunate. “The conditions down there can be quite treacherous and hard to predict. “I knew I had to react quickly and just get down there as fast as I could and see if I could help the person.” Sen. Const. Gaynor said it was “amazing” to see a considerable number of people ranging from emergency service workers to civilians and young people recognised for their selfless acts during last Friday’s award ceremony. “Just hearing about the situations that these people had put themselves in to help someone else was amazing to see,” he said. “The kind of things that people were having to deal with were unbelievable.” Mr Boshoff was also awarded a silver medallion for bravery after battling through strong swell and winds to save a woman who fell from her stand-up paddle board in Koombana Bay. While kayaking on September 7 last year, Mr Boshoff saw the woman fall and lose her paddleboard in the 2m swell about a kilometre from the shore, where she struggled to avoid being pushed towards a rocky groyne. Observing her struggle and recognising she was in danger, Mr Boshoff went to her aid, paddling her some distance back to shore, battling the strong swell and wind that threatened to push them into the rocks. Police who had been called to the scene and had to observe events from the shore noted that the rescue required significant physical exertion from Mr Boshoff, as he battled the conditions on a kayak not designed to carry two people.