Recognised for brave efforts
PARADISE Bay Eco Escape manager Jason Johnstone doesn't like to think of himself as brave, despite his efforts in rescuing a Sydney tourist from a shark attack early last year.
But it is clear shark attack victim Paddy Trumbull sees things differently.
Mrs Trumbull nominated Mr Johnstone for a pride of Australia medal in the outstanding bravery category, which recognises ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.
When Mr Johnstone recalled the events of that horrific day, he admitted some spots were a bit hazy and it was just adrenalin and instinct that kicked in.
“It was just something I had to do,” he said.
“I don't feel brave.”
Mrs Trumbull had been wading through water on the western side of Dent Island when she was attacked.
Mr Johnstone went over to her in a dinghy and he initially thought she had been bitten by a stinger.
“I was about to dive in and I saw the dorsal fin,” he said.
He then grabbed her and pulled her face down on the dinghy where a big chunk of her lower back and thigh was missing.
She was also losing a lot of blood.
More than a year on from the incident, Mrs Trumbull and Mr Johnstone remain in touch.
“We are great friends now,” Mr Johnstone said.
“We have got a great connection.”
And for the humble hero it is work as usual.
“The week after (the attack) the guests said I was watching everyone like a hawk,” he laughed.
“But if I didn't go back out there then, I wouldn't do it.”
Mr Johnstone will attend the awards ceremony in Brisbane on Friday.