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Byron Shire
February 4, 2023

Man saved during Winter Whales

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swim star
Competitors prepare for Byron Ocean Classic. Photo Jeff Dawson

A competitor in the Winter Whales annual swimming competition is recovering in hospital after being rescued by Byron Bay life savers and ALS lifeguards on Sunday.

The 58-year-old Queensland man was spotted in the water and retrieved by members of the Byron Bay SLSC who were in the water as part of the safety program for the Byron Bay Ocean Swim Classic.

The man was not breathing and CPR was commenced in the club’s Inflatable Rescue Boat (IRB) on the way to shore.

Once back on land, lifeguards continued CPR and used a defibrillator to help the patient start breathing again.

Surf Life Saving NSW spokesperson, Jimmy Keogh, praised the fast and professional response by the surf club’s water safety team and the lifeguards on duty.

‘The fantastic prior preparation and training both during the life-saving season and in the lead up to this event has ensured that the response to this incident was fast and professional.

‘The patient was on the beach within two minutes of being spotted in the water with the defibrillator being administered shortly after. It was a fantastic effort by everyone involved,’ he said.

The patient is now conscious at John Flynn Hospital and undergoing further treatment.


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