Five degrees of separation? In Canberra, it's more like one degree. And, in a nice twist, Cross of Valour recipient Allan Sparkes knows the family of our latest rescue hero, Zach Rolfe.
We told you about the remarkable rescue this week of two tourists in the Northern Territory by police officer Zach Rolfe, a former Canberra Grammar student and the son of Canberra identities Debbie and Richard Rolfe.
Mr Sparkes, meanwhile, is one of only five recipients of Australia's highest bravery decoration and civilian award, the Cross of Valour.
The then NSW police officer received the honour for rescuing a boy from a flooded stormwater drain in Coffs Harbour in 1996.
Accounts of the rescue are spine-tingling as Mr Sparkes and his colleague, Gavin Dengate, tried again and again to reach the boy, searching in darkness through the network of pipes. Pushing against the torrent of water, Sparkes finally reached and rescued the boy.
"We had heard the cries of the child and we were going to do everything we could to save him," he said, on Thursday.
Mr Sparkes maintained contact with the boy as he grew up and last year attended the young man's wedding.
A deputy commissioner at the NSW Mental Health Commission, Mr Sparkes met Debbie and Richard Rolfe about three years ago, through their philanthropic endeavours in Canberra.
Now, this week, their son Zach, and his colleagues in the Northern Territory police, have been praised for their rescue of two tourists from a swollen river west of Alice Springs.
Mr Sparkes spoke to Zach on Wednesday night to offer his congratulations to him and the other rescuers, Acting Sergeant Kristina Jamieson and civilian, Michael Priestley.
"I just thought it was a really great example of outstanding police work and great courage by all those involved," Mr Sparkes said.
He said it was remarkable that Zach had only officially started in the police force a week before the rescues.
"To show that level of determination and willingness to do whatever it takes, is indicative of year after year of operational policework," Mr Sparkes said. "That makes it very, very special.
"Police officers are willing to put their lives on the line every day and I don't think they get the recognition they deserve."
And, on a very superficial level, Mr Sparkes had to strip down to his boxers, in the same way Zach got down to his undies during the rescues he performed.
"I appeared on the front page of The Sydney Morning Herald in my boxer shorts - not a good look," Mr Sparkes said, with a laugh.
"I still have those boxer shorts. My wife had them framed for me."
Vice-president of the Australian Bravery Association, Mr Sparkes said he believed Zach and the other rescuers should receive a bravery award.
"It would have been very easy for them to leave it for someone else to do but there was no one else," he said.