Surf lifesavers rush to aid cy­clist

Trio at race event swing into ac­tion to help by­stander re­sus­ci­tate vic­tim of car crash at O¯ hope Beach

Rotorua Daily Post - - Local News -

Surf lifesavers rushed from O¯ hope Beach yes­ter­day to save a male cy­clist who suf­fered a heart at­tack and stopped breath­ing after be­ing in­volved in a crash with a car.

“It was a pretty awe­some feel­ing to get him back. Not quite what you ex­pect at a surf car­ni­val,” said 23-year-old Sam Roy.

He was fin­ish­ing a race at the Cham­pi­ons of the Bays surf life­sav­ing car­ni­val when a woman came run­ning for help.

The man, be­lieved to be in his late 40s or early 50s, re­mains in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion at Whakata¯ne Hos­pi­tal after the ac­ci­dent on West End Rd near Vil­lis Glade carpark.

Four lifesavers at the car­ni­val got in a buggy with a trauma kit and rushed to the ac­ci­dent scene 500m down the beach where two peo­ple were per­form­ing CPR on the man.

The man was ly­ing on the road with mi­nor abra­sions after the ac­ci­dent about mid­day. It was 30C and lo­cals set up a tent us­ing beach um­brel­las to pro­vide shade.

The other lifesavers in­volved in the res­cue were Whakatane Surf Life­sav­ing Club pa­trol cap­tain Hamish Reid, Sam Teteina, of Bethells Beach Surf Club, and car­ni­val first aider Char­lotte Paw­erel. at the beach

Reid and Teteina gave the man oxy­gen and Roy did chest com­pres­sions (CPR) — al­ter­nat­ing the de­mand­ing job with a mem­ber of the pub­lic.

After seven to 10 min­utes, the res­cuers picked up an in­ter­mit­tent pulse and breath­ing.

When we ar­rived he was quite grey, which isn’t a good sign. Hamish Reid, surf life­saver

“It was a team ef­fort, I only did part of the job,” said Roy, who has a de­gree in phys­i­ol­ogy ma­jor­ing in car­di­ol­ogy, level three first aid for surf life­sav­ing and comes from a fam­ily of doc­tors and paramedics.

“I have grown up with that kind of stuff and pretty in­spired from those sort of guys and hope­fully what they taught me was put to good use. It was re­ally good that mem­bers of the pub­lic started quickly,” said Roy, a mem­ber of Mount Maun­ganui Surf Life­guard Ser­vice, who works at a lo­cal surf shop.

Reid, who has been a surf life­saver for 37 years, said the ac­tions of the pub­lic and surf lifesavers saved the man’s life. “Once we got oxy­gen on to him and could get oxy­gen cir­cu­lat­ing in his body we man­aged to bring some colour back in.

“When we ar­rived he was quite grey, which isn’t a good sign.

“That was prob­a­bly the first time I have had to work on some­one who wasn’t re­spon­sive. I have had plenty of peo­ple who have had surf­board fin cuts, whacks to the head, res­cues and that kind of stuff, but this was a first,” Reid said.

Shortly after the group re­sus­ci­tated the man, am­bu­lances ar­rived and paramedics took over and trans­ferred the man to hos­pi­tal.

Photo / Ge­orge No­vak

Sam Roy was among those who helped save the life of a cy­clist in O¯ hope.

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