BROCK CURTIS is now in counselling in a bid to help the reluctant hero cope with the loss of his best mate.
The 16-year-old Wollongbar teenager, who on Tuesday tried to save Peter Edmonds after a shark attack, has called for the pack of national media to leave him alone.
Since Peter’s tragic death, Brock’s and Peter’s families have been inundated with requests from media organisations for interviews.
But now they just want privacy so they can grieve the loss of their loved family member and friend.
Brock’s mum,Victoria Mathew, yesterday told The Northern Star her son had mixed emotions.
“He’s just a 16-year-old kid. He doesn’t know why he ended up in this situation, just because he went for a surf with his mate, or why he’s all over the newspapers,” Ms Mathew said.
“He doesn’t feel like a hero, he just wanted to save Peter.
“But he is a hero – what he did was amazing.”
Ms Mathew said Brock had been in close contact with Peter’s family since the tragic incident, which she said had given him some comfort.
“They’ve really embraced him, they’re just amazing people,” she said.
“I’m so glad he has them.
“At this stage all we care about is Peter’s family.”
NSW Police has praised Brock’s bravery in attempting to save Peter. Inspector Steve Clark said local police would start the process for a bravery award nomination, and that he ‘strongly recommended’ it go to a state or federal level.
“There was an extremely high degree of bravery involved in the young man re-entering the water to retrieve his friend,” Insp Clark said.
Northern NSW Lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said he fully supported Brock being nominated for a bravery award.
“There is no doubt that Brock and his actions are incredibly brave,” Mr Leahy said.
“While he is very humble and says, ‘anyone would have done it’, when you are in the water and risking your life around sharks, that’s awe-inspiring.”
Meanwhile, the Lennox Longboarders Club is planning a paddle-out to honour Peter, who had been a member of the club since he was 12.
Club president Wayne Booth said a minute’s silence would be held.
“He was just a great kid. He just loved to surf and came along to all our sessions,” he said. “It’s really tragic. It’s something you hope never happens to anybody.”Peter’s funeral will be held at Alstonville next week.