St Clair surf lifesavers train at St Clair yesterday (from left) Angus Mackenzie (17), James Coombes (29), Carina Doyle (19 )and Joel Davies (26). Members of the club training on Wednesday revived a 72-year-old man who had collapsed on the beach. Photo by Jane Dawber.
The head coach at the St Clair Surf Life Saving Club in
Dunedin praised the "exceptional" actions of fellow club
members after they revived a 72-year-old-man who had
collapsed at the water's edge on Wednesday evening.
James Coombes said he and about 15 members of the club were
training on St Clair Beach when a man running in a group
collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest on beach, near the
clubhouse, about 6pm.
Utilising their first-aid training, the lifesavers responded
by giving the man - described as being at the "critical end"
of cases the club had to deal with - CPR, using a
defibrillator, Mr Coombes said. Members of the club were with
the man for about 20 minutes until St John ambulance officers
"The guys did an exceptional job in putting those skills into
play. Obviously they are first-aid responders as opposed to
paramedics, but in my opinion they did a very good job," he
He had little information about the man who collapsed, but
said he appeared to be taking part in a running event or
running as part of a group.
St John Dunedin team manager Doug Third congratulated the
lifesavers on their "swift actions".
"The four members acted very quickly when alerted by a
kayaker who witnessed the gentleman collapse.
"Because the club had a defibrillator, and because they had
received the necessary training, the surf lifesavers jumped
into action immediately."
St John was "wholly supportive" of organisations which had
access to automated external defibrillators, he said.
"In situations like this one ... [they have] the potential to
save someone's life."