THE Barraba man who died jumping off a cruise ship in an attempt to save his partner’s life will be honoured with a Bravery Medal in September.
At 8.48pm on May 8, 2013, paramedic Paul Rossington tried to rescue his girlfriend Kristen Schroder when she fell about 20 metres from their cabin balcony into the Tasman Sea.
It was not known the pair were missing until several hours after the ship had docked in Sydney the next morning.
Infrared footage saw two bodies going overboard when the ship was 65 nautical miles east of Forster, travelling at 22 nautical miles per hour (approximately 41km/h).
An extensive air and sea search was launched but, by this time, Mr Rossington and Ms Schroder had been in the water for 16 hours and the pair were not found.
Sea survival expert Dr Paul Luckin assisted an inquest into the incident and said Mr Rossington was probably seriously injured after jumping into the one-metre-high swell in the darkness.
Dr Luckin said even if he wasn’t injured from the fall, he wouldn’t have survived very long.
The officer in charge of the case, Detective Sergeant Michael O’Keefe, recommended Mr Rossington be recognised for his bravery.
“He must have known that jumping out would most likely end with him losing his life,” Sgt O’Keefe said.
Mr Rossington’s mother Christeen said her son died as he lived – as an honourable man.