Lt Michael Schoeman CN - South African Navy
SAMVOA Victoria - Veteran Michael Schoeman CN
The Navy Cross is awarded to members of the South African Navy for Exceptional Courage, Leadership, Skill, Ingenuity or Tenacity in the handling of Personal, Weaponry or other Equipment in Dangerous or Critical Situations.
This is the Navy’s highest decoration for bravery and only 19 have ever been awarded.
Lt Schoeman’s act of gallantry occurred when he rescued a visiting Zambian General from shark-infested waters off Seal Island in 2001. The General was attempting to board the SAS Gil…. from a small harbor patrol boat when he slipped, fell between the two vessels, bumped his head and lost consciousness. Wearing full battle dress, the General went straight down.
Lt Schoeman reacted immediately as the two boats were traveling alongside each other at about eight knots and there was also the danger that the General could have been hit by the propeller. He dived in and brought the General to the surface, where the General was revived and treated for his injuries on board.
The decoration was presented to Lt Schoeman by Vice Admiral Johan Retief, the Chief of the South African Navy at Cole Point Arena east Yard in Simon’s Town.