They would have been happy with a pat on the back, but a bigger honour is in store for five Illawarra surf lifesavers who risked their lives in a daring rescue off Bellambi earlier this year.
The volunteers battled punishing seas in a courageous effort to save four fishermen stranded on Virgin's Reef when their boat ran aground in April.
Later this month, Woonona surf lifesavers Jonathan Williams and Philippa Lowe, Bellambi's Adam Smithers and Craig Podmore and Illawarra duty officer Stuart Massey will accept one of surf lifesaving's highest honours - the group certificate of merit bronze award.
The group will accept the award at the Surf Life Saving Australia national excellence awards in Sydney on Saturday, October 27.
Caught on camera, the dramatic rescue highlighted the incredible skill and bravery of the five volunteers.
Four Narellan fishermen were forced to jump clear of their boat when the vessel was thrown onto rocks in rough surf.
Jonathan Williams, 23, took control of one of the two inflatable rescue boats deployed into the swirling surf to reach the stricken men.
"It wasn't much swell but the wind was making a bit of a hassle, at that particular point there's waves coming from both directions so you've got backwash forming and it's not very even, it's hard to predict," Mr Williams said.
The jagged rocks and churning conditions kept the rescue boats at bay so the lifesavers instead had to haul the men to safety using rescue tubes.
Mr Williams took to the water to swim the last man to safety.
The eight-year patrol veteran said he was both surprised and humbled by the award.
"That's what we're there for," he said.
John McInally was Woonona's club captain at the time of the rescue and said he was immensely proud of all the volunteers for their efforts.
"It's a very prestigious award and I think it's well deserved," he said.
"Their efforts that day as far as I'm concerned were amazing."