Two Merimbula men - Sean Westwood and Steve Butterworth - who risked their lives to rescue a woman from drowning off Short Point, Merimbula, have been officially acknowledged with bravery awards.
On December 7, 2014, Glenys McGuire was swept out to sea after losing her footing in a channel draining water from Back Lake following torrential rain, and both Mr Westwood and Mr Butterworth entered the raging waters to save her.
Ms McGuire, believed she was only minutes from dying when the two men reached her, about 100 metres from shore. They had paddled through murky and churning water with her disappearing from sight numerous times.
New South Wales Governor David Hurley presented the bronze bravery award to Mr Butterworth on behalf of the Royal Humane Society of NSW at Government House last October. Mr Westwood was unable to attend to receive his silver award.
The men were nominated for the award by David Fisk, a former SES member with level three swiftwater rescue qualification, who said the pair's bravery in saving the life of Ms McGuire deserved the "highest commendation".