Mountbatten medal recipient
Kalya Gamage - Recipient of the Mountbatten award
On August 27 last year, then 13-year-old Kalya Kandegoda Gamage was paddling in the water’s edge at Chrystalls Beach with his 11-year-old brother Kithmi.
It was then when a large wave swept his younger brother off of his feet, and two more large waves pulled him into the water.
Kithmi, who was a confident swimmer, tried to get back to shore but when he couldn't, he continued to tread water. However, battling the 3 metre swells he was becoming tired as he was pulled further from shore. It was then when his older brother turned to their mother and said: ‘Ok Mum, I’m going out. I might not be back.’’
The citation from the Royal Life Saving Society noted a comment from a local police officer that ‘’no-one survives in that stretch of water, it is notoriously dangerous’’.
’’Undoubtedly, Kalya’s brave response saved his brother’s life that day.’’
Kalya's heroic response and willingness to brave danger have truly made him an aspiration for all students and staff and Tokomairiro High School.
Well done Kalya!