Married officers honoured
A HUSBAND-and-wife police team have been awarded bravery medals for their heroic efforts to save a distressed swimmer.
Acting Sergeant Brett and Senior Constable Louise Crossan risked their lives in March 2007 when they dived into dangerous surf at Belongil Beach at Byron Bay to rescue a 26-year-old Japanese woman.
“When we got there her sister said she just went under and pointed to the spot,” Sgt Crossan said.
“And in we went; we just did it.”
In overcast conditions and driving rain, the officers, who were stationed at Byron Bay, entered the heavy seas, searching the seaweed-filled gutter the woman had been dragged into.
“You don't even think about it,” Sgt Crossan said.
“We just went straight in and started searching for her.”
The Crossans, who are now based at Tweed Heads, searched for about an hour and were joined by other emergency services including surf life savers and two helicopters.
“It was very dangerous,” Sgt Crossan said.
“The conditions made it very tough, we were struggling.
“Our clothes are unbelievably heavy when they're wet.”
Despite extensive searches over several days, the woman was not located and presumed drowned.
At a ceremony in Sydney on Friday the Crossans were honoured with bronze bravery medals by the Royal Humane Society.
Snr Const Crossan said: “It was really nice to have that recognition.
“They were very much appreciated by both of us.”
A modest Sgt Crossan said: “It's just our job.”
Both officers have received various awards through the police service, but these were their first from the Royal Humane Society.
The couple, who will celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary next month, met nine years ago when they were training together in Goulburn, Snr Const Crossan said.
“We were engaged after only four months and things have been brilliant ever since,” she said.
They have a one-year-old son, Brody, and are expecting their second child in December.
Before Snr Const Crossan was placed on restrictive duties due to the pregnancy, the couple would often work together in the same car.
“He'd be my pick of who to work with,” she said.
“We work really well together and it's great having that level of support.”
Sgt Crossan said it is good when they are rostered on together because then they can enjoy time off together.
“People are always cracking jokes,” he laughed.