Lifesavers' quick action saves man

St Clair surf lifesavers train at St Clair yesterday (from left)  Angus Mackenzie (17), James...
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....

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 took over.

"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 said.

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."


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