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February 25, 2021

Diver dies from heart attack

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A 55-year-old Sydney man died after a diving mishap off the coast at Ballina yesterday afternoon.

Another diver was rescued by volunteer lifesavers from the Ballina Jet Boat Rescue who attended the emergency.

The man, who could not be resuscitated, had been dragged unconscious onboard the dive boat after a diving expedition to the popular shipwreck MV Limerick off Ballina, about 12 nautical miles offshore.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman told APN Media the man had suffered a cardiac arrest while diving and was unconscious when he surfaced.

Crew on board the dive boat started CPR and called emergency services.

The surf life saving rescue co-ordinator Jimmy Keough said that after being tasked by police to the emergency, the rescue boat crew met the boat near Ballina Bar, brought the patient aboard and returned him to shore where ambulance paramedics were awaiting.

But police said the diver was pronounced dead by paramedics when the jetboat returned to shore at around 11.20am.

‘The rescuers then went back out to the dive boat with oxygen supplies, after reports another man was still underwater, possibly suffering the bends,’ Mr Keough said.

Police said the second diver was decompressing 30 metres below the surface several hours later with rescuers and companions waiting for  him to safely surface.

A report on the death is to be prepared for the Coroner.

 


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