HONOURED: Lance Stebbing in 2006 receiving an award from former Commissioner Ken Moroney.
HONOURED: Lance Stebbing in 2006 receiving an award from former Commissioner Ken Moroney.

Bravery award for policeman after Sydney rescue

AN ACT of bravery has earned former Goonellabah resident Lance Stebbing a bronze medal from the Royal Humane Society.

Sergeant Stebbing is based at the North Sydney police station and on May 1, 2011, he was called to an incident where a fisherman had been washed from rocks at Obelisk Beach in Sydney Harbour. The man's brother-in-law had jumped in and was also in trouble.

Sgt Stebbing said after searching for the men from the rocks, they saw a body about 75m from the shore.

"At first it appeared he was face down, but when I saw he was actually on his back, face up, I decided to go in the water after him," Sgt Stebbing said.

There was a big swell of 1-2m that day and Sgt Stebbing stripped off his uniform and grabbed a flotation device from his police car and managed to get the man back onto the rock shelf.

By then there was a paramedic on the scene and the man was given CPR, but did not survive. The second man drowned and was later retrieved by police divers.

"It's part of my job, but it was disappointing he didn't survive. The family was there and were very distraught," Sgt Stebbing said.

He will also be awarded a Commissioner's Certificate of Merit from the police for his act of bravery.

His parents, John and Lynn Stebbing still live in Goonellabah and two of his three brothers are in Lismore.

John Stebbing said Lance was "always the outdoor type" and joined the police as soon as he finished high school at Kadina.

He said he was very proud of his son: "It makes you feel that you've probably accomplished something as a father."



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