Police commendation for brave Navy Diver

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Steve Cropper (author), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Location(s): Dee Why, NSW

Topic(s): Honours, Awards and Trophies, Navy Values & Signature Behaviours

Warrant Officer Clearance Diver Christopher Wright receives a New South Wales Police Area Commander’s Commendation from Superintendent Dave Darcy, Commander Northern Beaches Police Area Command, at Dee Why RSL Club, in Sydney, NSW. (photo: ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill)
Warrant Officer Clearance Diver Christopher Wright receives a New South Wales Police Area Commander’s Commendation from Superintendent Dave Darcy, Commander Northern Beaches Police Area Command, at Dee Why RSL Club, in Sydney, NSW.

There are plenty of accounts of Navy personnel displaying bravery in dangerous situations at sea, but for one Clearance Diver heroism on land has earned him a special commendation from the New South Wales Police.

Warrant Officer Christopher Wright was walking past a house in Balgowlah in Sydney’s north on April 17 with his five-year old son, Brody, when a smoke alarm alerted him to a house fire.

He acted immediately, entering the burning house and finding 90-year-old Pat Andrews, who he carried outside to safety.

Then he went back inside, armed with a garden hose, and checked in case there were more occupants.

He was able to douse most of the flames, except for a burning toaster as firefighters and police arrived.

His courage and quick thinking earned Christopher a New South Wales Police Area Commander’s Commendation.

Pat Andrews, 90, told local press that she would probably have died if it wasn’t for Chris Wright, who plucked her from her Balgowlah weatherboard house as the fire began to take hold.

“If it hadn’t been for him I was a goner. I’d have ended up like a bit of burnt toast.”

Warrant Officer Wright, who has served as a bomb disposal technician in Afghanistan, said he appreciated the recognition.

“It was a great honour to receive the commendation from the Police, who put themselves in harm’s way every day to save people in trouble,” he said.

Christopher Wright saved a lot of people a lot of grief by saving Mrs Andrews, who has six children, 20 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

“Chris is my hero. He really is,” Mrs Andrews said.