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Off-duty surf lifesavers are being praised for their quick-thinking after they revived a man who had a severe heart attack and collapsed in Copacabana on the NSW Central Coast yesterday.

At approximately 8:45am on Monday 7 October, two members of the Copacabana Surf Life Saving Club were preparing to start a beach patrol when they received a phone call from fellow club member, Alastair Shaw. He requested their immediate assistance with reviving an elderly man who had collapsed on a footpath nearby and was unconscious and not breathing.

Surf lifesavers Adam Richards and James McNamara grabbed the surf club’s defibrillator and oxygen resuscitation kit and proceeded to the location – some 500 metres from the Copacabana Surf Club. On arrival Adam and James found the man unconscious and not breathing.

James applied the defibrillator while Alastair assisted by administering oxygen. Two members of the public, one of whom identified as qualified nurse, assisted James and Alastair with CPR compressions.

The team continued with CPR using the defibrillator and oxygen until paramedics arrived to assist. The three lifesavers then worked alongside the NSW Ambulance paramedics, assisting them with continued CPR.

The patient responded and began breathing unassisted before being transported to hospital.

Surf Life Saving President George Shales praised the efforts of the quick-thinking lifesavers.

“Yesterday’s fast and effective response by our three off-duty surf lifesavers at Copacabana was exemplary. It’s a pertinent example of how effective, up-to-date CPR training can be when combined with modern defibrillator and oxygen resuscitation equipment,” said Shales .

“The incident highlights the effectiveness of Surf Life Saving CPR training on and off the beach and how important it is to keep your CPR skills current. It also shows the wider role Surf Life Saving now has in responding to critical incidents beyond the beach,” Shales concluded.

Alastair Shaw said that it was thanks to Surf Life Saving NSW and his CPR training that he was able to respond quickly and provide the man with immediate assistance.

“I’m glad I’ve done the course and I would encourage others to do the same,” said Alastair Shaw.

The patient was transported to hospital where his condition is unknown.

Surf Life Saving NSW provides CPR training through the Bronze Medallion program and also through the Australian Life Saving Acedemy.

Tuesday 8 October 2019