Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist, Royal New Zealand Navy

The New Zealand Bravery Medal
Special Honours List 2 April 2011
On 5 October 2007 Chief Petty Officer Combat System Specialist Mark Taylor, a member of the ship's company of HMNZS Canterbury, was involved in a
series of sea boat drills for coxswain training while on route from Cape Reinga to Auckland.  He was standing in an alcove from which a rigid-hulled
inflatable boat (RHIB) was being lowered.  Everything progressed normally until the RHIB touched the water and tipped onto its side.  Two crew members
in the RHIB at the time managed to escape, but two others were restrained by their harnesses and forced back into the boat by the on-rush of water.  As
HMNZS Canterbury was being brought to a stop, an attempt was made to hoist the RHIB back on board.  At this point, it turned over completely, trapping
the two occupants beneath it.  One crew member managed to escape, but the other remained trapped inside the upturned boat.

During this time, several of the ship's company entered the water and attempted to rescue the trapped sailor, including Chief Petty Officer Taylor, who had
pulled on his wetsuit as the RHIB tipped on its side.  He made several unsuccessful rescue attempts by free diving under the boat and trying to cut the
trapped sailor's harness.  During one of his brief periods on the surface, he attempted to release the boat's self-righting gear, but unfortunately this was
also unsuccessful.  He continued to try to rescue the trapped sailor, until, after almost losing consciousness and suffering from water in the lungs, he too
needed to be assisted from the water.  Chief Petty Officer Taylor was later admitted to the ship's hospital, suffering from exhaustion, salt water aspiration and a shoulder strain.  As an experienced diver, Chief Petty Officer Taylor was fully aware of how dangerous these rescue attempts could be, but he displayed bravery when, though injured, he persisted in his efforts to rescue his fellow crew member to the point of exhaustion and where his own life could have been at risk.

New Zealand Bravery Medal
New Zealand Operational Service Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal (non warlike)
New Zealand East Timor Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal, Solomon Islands
New Zealand General Service Medal, Afghanistan (secondary)
Royal NZ Navy Long Service & Good Conduct Medal
New Zealand Defence Service Medal