Steven Freeborough of Melkbosstrand was honoured for what he did on the afternoon of 10 August 2010 when he saved Deavan Mbango from drowning at Melkbosstrand.
That day whilst standing outside the Beach House Restaurant he noticed that three people who were walking along the beach had stripped off their outer garments and waded into the water. They had only gone in knee-high when a vicious rip current swept Deavan Mabango off his feet and began to pull him out to sea.
Deavan began shouting for help and Steven reacted immediately. Rushing inside he changed into a wetsuit, grabbed his longboard surfboard, ran the 200 metres down to the beach and paddled towards the struggling man. Fortunately the sea was not very rough that day, with a 1.5 metre swell, and Deavan was swept into the line of kelp that lies some 100 metres off that stretch of beach. He managed to hang onto the fronds and keep his head above water.
Reaching the shivering man desperately clutching the kelp around him Steven persuaded him to climb onto his surfboard, then got on behind him and began to paddle back to shore. With great presence of mind Steven first manoeuvred parallel to the coast until out of the rip current and then headed in to the beach. There they were met by willing hands who carried Deavan Mbango to an ambulance which transported him to hospital. He has made a full recovery from his ordeal.
Steven saved a life that day. The NSRI salutes him.
Pic: Peter Bacon (NSRI Chairman) looks on as Chris Husdon (Chairman of the NSRI awards committe) congratulates Steven
Photographer: Andrew Ingram