Four villagers from the island of Nias will receive Australia’s third-highest bravery award for providing assistance to the dying and injured aboard a downed Royal Australian Navy helicopter in 2005, the Australian Embassy in Jakarta said on Friday.
Nine Australians aboard the Sea King helicopter were killed and two others seriously injured when it crashed due to mechanical failure.
The crew had been part of the Australian relief effort in the wake of the 2005 Sumatra earthquake that killed an estimated 1,300 people, mostly in Nias.
Australian Embassy spokeswoman Sanchi Davis said the four recipients, from Amandraya village on the remote west coast of the island, were identified as Benar Giawa, Adiziduhu Harefa, Motani Harefa and Seti Eli Ndruru.
They will receive the bravery medals during a formal ceremony at the embassy on Tuesday.
The spokeswoman said the recipients had been nominated for the award by Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce.
In a statement, the embassy said it had taken four years for the Australian government to grant the medals because “it is a very serious process,” involving approval from a number of officials.
Of the nine people killed, seven were men and two women. Two of the passengers were rescued by the Nias men. (The Jakarta Globe)