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Heron Cousley and Jorghinio Johnson, two Jamaican Scouts who died saving the lives of fellow Scout members, will be honoured posthumously with Badges of Honour for Gallantry at the National Honours and Awards Ceremony at King’s House on National Heroes Day, Monday, October 18.
Both men displayed supreme acts of courage at Yallahs, St. Thomas on February 22, 2003 in saving three drowning scouts, but failed in their quest to save others as well as themselves.
Reports confirmed that the scouts were diving in the water when one of them jumped on Garth Russell’s back (the acting Commissioner for Scouts in St. Thomas), who shouted for him to get off, but the scout was panicking.
Realizing that he was in difficulty, Russell managed to get him off his back and swam nearer to shore. It was then that he realized that others were in difficulty, and shouted for help.
Young Johnson swam to aid in the rescue efforts and saved two scouts in the process. Sadly, he encountered difficulty while trying to save another and subsequently went under.
Meanwhile, a girl scout, ‘Kedesha’, was also in difficulty when Heron swam to save her from drowning. He took her ashore and was on his way to save another scout, and like his colleague, he got into difficulties and went under. His body was found two days later.
The Badge of Honour for Gallantry is the highest award in the category for Bravery.