We know people do extraordinary things but do you ever stop and ask yourself: would I do that?
The bushfire apocalypse of last summer was almost understandably laden with tales of amazing bravery and sheer courage. People push their limits to amazing extremes when confronted with adversity.
Thing is ... it happens so regularly, do we even notice anymore? With the infamous news cycle running at a fair gallop, stopping to understand and appreciate the depth of people's unwavering commitment to each other in times of crisis rarely happens.
As if being faced with one person being in mortal danger wasn't enough, imagine it was three people - all at once. Then consider that this was exactly the place three people had died three weeks earlier.
That's precisely the scenario that Nick Park confronted when he leapt into the water on a bleak Friday evening.
Mr Park, also a NSW Police officer, was fortunate to have some back-up and a few limited resources with him. The passerby who also jumped into to the broiling sea to help the rescue effort did not.
A surf life saving background plus police training no doubt helped Sergeant Park but his occupation should not lessen the enormity of his actions.
The same goes for life saver Josh Pakes who, further down the NSW South Coast, rescued two paddleboarders who were swept about four kilometres out to sea last week.
Life-threatening the situation may have been but there were a number of positives. Fortunately the paddlers had a mobile phone in a waterproof bag; fortunately Josh (with the help of his dad) could launch his jet-ski in minutes; and fortunately the Toll NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopter hovered overhead until everyone made it back to safety.
Not every rescue is quite as dramatic - just ask the Port Stephens SES crew. They spent three hours extricating Dippy the horse from a predicament beyond her control.
Harnesses, boards and even chainsaw later, she too made it to terra firma and was able to say thanks in her own way.
So here's a shout out to the people who just get on; get in and just help. You're not overlooked or under-appreciated. Quite the opposite.
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