Lifesavers offered counselling after distressing near-drowning

UPDATE At 4:50 PM | TWO off-duty volunteer lifesavers who revived a man found unconscious in the water at Miami Beach are being offered counselling following the harrowing ordeal.

It’s understood a surfer first spotted the 69-year-old man laying face down in the surf about 5.45am.

He pulled the man from the water and flagged down a second surfer to raise the alarm.


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James Blair was that second surfer and told myGC it was an amazing effort from everyone involved.

“It was hard to see what was going on at first, as the sun was blinding, having just broken the horizon,” Mr Blair said.

“Once I got closer it was clear the 69-year-old was in a very bad way.

“Once he was on the shoreline, that’s when the two other men arrived, I presume they were the off duty lifeguards.”

The off-duty lifesavers immediately began performing CPR on the man and managed to revive him on the beach.

“One of the off duty lifeguards had a phone and quickly called paramedics – they arrived quickly, within 6-7 minutes,” Mr Blair said.

“I thought it was an amazing effort from everyone involved.”

After regaining consciousness, the 69-year-old man was rushed to the Gold Coast Uni Hospital in a critical condition.

Queensland Ambulance said the man had a pulse and was breathing.

“Unfortunately I’ve forgotten the man’s name who pulled him from the water initially, but without this man’s help, I’d be surprised if the 69-year-old would have survived at all,” Mr Blair said.

“Fingers crossed he makes a full recovery.”

It’s understood the 69-year-old had been surfing when he lost consciousness in the water.

The volunteer lifesavers have been offered peer support counselling, which will continue for as long as it is needed.

Surf Life Saving Queensland said it’s a timely reminder to always swim at patrolled beaches, during patrolled times.

FIRST at 11:11 AM | A MAN has been rushed to hospital in a critical condition, lucky to be alive after almost drowning on the Gold Coast.

The 69-year-old was found unconscious, laying face down in the surf at Miami Beach just before 6am on Sunday.

Off-duty lifesavers rushed to the man’s aid after spotting him in the water and immediately began performing CPR.

Miraculously, thanks to the efforts of the off-duty lifesavers, the man was brought back to life on the beach.

Barely alive, the man was rushed by ambulance to the Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition.

It’s understood the 69-year-old man had been surfing when he lost consciousness in the water.

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It wasn’t entirely to the efforts of the off-duty lifesavers, although they did a fantastic job once they got there.

Two surfers pulled the man from the surf before the lifeguards arrived. The first surfer on the scene spotted the man face down in the water (no one knows for how long) as he was paddling out around 5:30am. I was the second surfer on the scene, after the man pulling him from the water waved me in to help. It was hard to see what was going on at first, as the sun was blinding, having just broken the horizon. Once I got closer it was clear the 69 year old was in a very bad way!

Once he was on the shoreline, that’s when the two other men arrived, I presume they were the off duty lifeguards (they didn’t mention that at the time)? This is when we noticed he wasn’t breathing but luckily still had a slight pulse. One of the off duty lifeguards had a phone who quickly called paramedics. I then left the scene to run back up to the street to wave out to the paramedics and direct them to were the man was lying. The paramedics arrived quickly, within 6-7minutes. I believe it was during this time the off duty lifeguards began CPR.

I thought it was an amazing effort from everyone involved, unfortunately I’ve forgotten the man’s name who pulled him from the water initially, but without this man’s help, I’d be surprised if the 69 year old would have survived at all!

Fingers crossed he makes a full recovery.

James Blair

I believe that this person broke his neck and will not recover. He is a medical professional and still in hospital at this time. Very sad situation

Thanks for your effors James.
I was one of the lifesavers in the ATV
Fantastic work by everyone involved- great to know there are so many people in the community prepared to help.
Not sure if there were any lifeguards there but the guys had started cpr when we got there and were under direction of the 000 emergency service. We administered oxygen with CPR and applied the defibrillator pads until the Paramedics took over. What a sensational job they did.
Drop in and say hi at Miami when you get a chance and seek some support if you feel you need to talk to someone ??
Oh and it was this morning- Sunday

Thanks Alan,
So lucky you guys were near by and that the other guys knew CPR! Everyone was onto it so quickly! I was very impressed and feel a little safer now surfing my home break : )

Thanks Jayden, I just wanted to give the surfer who spotted him and pulled him to shore some recognition and let his family and friends know what happened. Cheers James