FUNNELL William John
Chief Pilot, Taupo-based New Zealand Rail rescue helicopter

CITATION
New Zealand Bravery Medal
Gazetted Special Honours List 23 October 1999
On the evening of 24 April 1992 Mr Funnell, chief pilot of the Taupo-based New Zealand Rail rescue helicopter, a Squirrel, made a flight to uplift from the remote Campbell Island a man, Mr Mike Fraser, who had been attacked by a shark. Mr Funnell was accompanied by another pilot and a paramedic. The rescue operation successfully carried Mr Fraser to Invercargill Hospital, and he made a good recovery from his ordeal. The Squirrel touched down again at Taupo 25 hours after the request to make the trip. The flight over some 1200 kilometres of ocean was believed to be unprecedented anywhere in the world in terms of single-engine helicopter operations and was undertaken at considerable risk to those on board.  Mr Funnell displayed bravery in undertaking this flight without which the shark attack victim would not have survived.

Member of the Order of the British Empire
Gazetted

AWARDS
New Zealand Bravery Medal
Member of the Order of the British Empire

NOTES
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THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT