Kelsie Zosars put her life on the line to save three mates.
Kelsie Zosars put her life on the line to save three mates. Coffs Coast Advcoate/Bruce Thomas

Local hero awarded for bravery

WHEN she was 15 years old, Kelsie Zosars put her life at risk to save three mates from drowning.

Three years later and she's slowly getting used to people congratulating her - especially since one of them is the Governor-General.

Kelsie has been awarded a Commendation for Brave Conduct after saving three boys who got into trouble at a local swimming hole at Urunga in 2006.

The swimming hole is a popular spot for young people in Urunga, and on that afternoon three years ago Kelsie was about to have a swim when the gumtree branch three local boys were swinging on snapped.

“I heard a crack and saw the branch hit them as it fell in the water,” Kelsie said.

“It hit Brent square on the head.”

Thinking only of her mates, Kelsie saw two of the boys surface, with one, Frank La Spada, covered in blood.

She helped him out of the water and used her T-shirt to stop his bleeding before rushing back into the water to find the second boy, Brent Crompton, unconscious underwater with his ankle trapped by the fallen branch.

She freed him and took him to shore but Kelsie's good work wasn't done yet, as she raced back into the water for the third boy, Brock Michael, who was drifting down the river after being temporarily paralysed from the hips down.

Luckily all three boys lived that day, but if it wasn't for Kelsie's quick thinking, it might have been a different story.

Kelsie said receiving the bravery award was 'great' and the idea of being recognised as a hero was growing on her.

“But it's really up to my nana, she nominated me and pushed for it,” Kelsie said.

When asked how the boys felt about being rescued by a girl, Kelsie said any one of her mates would have helped.

“We always go swimming at the river, there are usually about 20 of us down there and everyone knows everybody,” she said.

“Anyone would have done the same thing.”

Kelsie is one of 25 people across Australia to receive a Commendation for Brave Conduct award this year.



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