OTTAWA - The Governor General has announced 11 bravery awards, including two posthumous decorations to Canadians who died in futile attempts to save people from drowning.
Roxanne Lalonde of Merrickville, Ont., and Hady Quan of Vancouver both died in separate incidents in 2007 and will receive Medals of Bravery for "acts of bravery in hazardous circumstances."
Lalonde, a naval reservist, died while trying to rescue a 15-year-old boy from the fast-flowing waters of the Rideau River, in Merrickville on April 21, 2007.
She jumped into the icy waters by the local dam to search for the boy, but was suddenly caught by the strong undertow and pulled toward the middle of the river. Others on shore tried to throw a life line to her, but the strong current quickly carried her downstream. The boy also died.
Quan, 30, died Dec. 28, 2007, trying to rescue a man struggling in strong ocean currents at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.
Quan and his girlfriend were swimming when they heard the victim calling for help nearby. As they approached the man, they discovered that there was a powerful undertow and that they would need help bringing the victim to safety.
Quan continued toward the man, while his girlfriend struggled to make shore. Rescuers managed to bring the unconscious victim to shore, where they tried vainly to revive him. Quan, meanwhile, was carried away by the current and drowned.
Other Medals of Bravery, to be awarded by Gov. Gen. Michaelle Jean at dates to be determined, will go to:
- Terry Bratton of Verdun, Que., who jumped into the St. Lawrence River on Jan. 13, 2008, to rescue a four-year-old boy who had fallen into the water trying to retrieve a ball.
- Dean R. DeJoseph of Windsor, Ont., who helped evacuate people from a burning house on Dec. 3, 2007.
- Norbert Hebert of Lacolle, Que., who rescued an unconscious teenage girl trapped inside her burning mobile home on Nov. 11, 2007.
- Shawn Lahey of Kilbride, N.L., a jail guard who on Jan. 3, 2006, rescued a colleague attacked by a prisoner armed with a homemade knife.
- Alexis Laliberte of Montreal, who rescued two children on Nov. 11, 2007, as they were swept away in the cold waters of the St. Lawrence River at Verdun, Que.
- Sgt. Roger Lane of Gagetown, N.B., who disarmed and subdued two men after they robbed an Edmonton grocery store on Sept. 23, 2007.
- Chris MacLeod of Sydney, N.S., who waded through freezing water to rescue a boy after he fell through ice in Eskasoni, N.S., on Jan. 24, 2008.
- Guillaume Masse of La Minerve, Que., who swam to a sinking vehicle on Sept. 13, 2007 and freed a woman trapped inside.
- Michael Walker of Toronto, who disarmed and subdued an attacker who knifed a fellow passenger aboard a bus, near Madoc, Ont., on Dec. 24, 2007.
The bravery decorations were created in 1972. They recognize people who "risk their lives and choose to defy their own instinct of survival" in attempts to save those whose lives are in immediate danger.
The awards, given after nominations by citizens, are the Cross of Valour, given for "acts of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme peril;" the Star of Courage for "acts of conspicuous courage in circumstances of great peril;" and the Medal of Bravery.