The Royal Humane Society of Australia

Press Releases

Bravery Award

Mr Reece P Kershaw APM, Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police will present The Royal Humane Society of Australasia’s Certificate of Merit for bravery to:

Mr Michael Watt, of Fadden, ACT

who went to the rescue of a man from drowning at Noosa Main Beach, Noosa Qld on 28 November 2018. (Please see the attached citation)
The presentation will take place as follows:

Friday 24 July 2020
in Canberra

Please note that due to COVID-19 restrictions no members of the press will be admitted to this investiture.

For further information please contact:
Mrs Sue Cutler, Secretary, The Royal Humane Society of Australasia Inc

03 9125 4408

Details of this investiture will also appear on the Society’s website:



To receive the Certificate of Merit:


At 5.55pm Mr Watt was on Noosa Main Beach, Qld when he saw a man approximately 50m from shore floating face down in the water.

The beach conditions at the time were treacherous and a northerly breeze was creating large waves onto Noosa Main Beach.  The large volume of water pushing onto the beach created a well-known and regular sweeping rip.  The beach at the time was not patrolled by life-guards.

Mr Watt grabbed a boogie board and ran into the water and swam out to the man.  An off-duty life saver from Noosa SLSC also swam out to the man.

Both Mr Watt and the off-duty life saver turned the man over and put him on the boogie board to keep his head out of the water.  The life saver attempted CPR on the man whilst Mr Watt held him onto the boogie board.  Both men tried to return the man to shore but the current was too strong and the men were unable to make any headway against the rip.

Another off-duty life saver went to help on her training board.  All three then managed to get the unconscious man onto the training board.  The female off-duty life saver was then able to return the man to shore.

Sadly, the man passed away at the scene.