THIRD TIME HERO
By SAMANTHA TURNBULL
IT'S not Superman, it's not a plane ... it's a Bird!
Lismore Heights hero Wayne Bird wins his third bravery award today for saving a woman and child from their sinking vehicle one-and-a-half years ago.
Wayne ran to the rescue of Lesley King and her two-year-old son, Isaac, of Ballina, when their car plummeted into the Richmond River near his sister's house at Wardell.
"The awards are good, but the best thing was saving two people's lives ? that was pretty special," he said.
The builder should be receiving his Royal Humane Society bronze medal in a 3pm ceremony at Sydney's Government House, but he was too busy working to make it.
"It would have been good, but we've got a backlog of work at the moment and we're just too busy," he said.
The Bird family are no strangers to such ceremonies.
Wayne has already received a police certificate and an Australia Day award, while his father, Roger, also won a bravery medal for a similar rescue last year.
Roger became a hero when he dragged a man from a burning car at Teven a few months before his son's feat.
"It's just one of those things you have to do if you're in that situation," said Wayne.
"You don't think, you just do it!"
His wife, Monique Bird, said she too should have qualified for one of the accolades.
"I was six months' pregnant when it happened, so I waddled after Wayne to the river," she said.
"We joke that he hit me out of the way so he could get the bravery medal!"
Wayne passed baby Isaac to Monique before saving the mother.
"I was very proud of him. He was very controlled and calm," said Monique.
"He wasn't panicky at all. It was great."
Wayne said he had not spoken to the mother and son since rescuing them, but they had left a thank-you note for him on his sister's doorstep.