Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Heroic Scuba Instructor Saves Diver's Life

A 60-year-old man escaped what could have been a fatal dive accident when a dive instructor discovered him unconscious in the water and came to his rescue.

Bryon Marshall, 29, came to the man's rescue after he began to sink beneath the surface before his due descent.

The man, believed to be from Melbourne, was among 21 people diving off Boarfish Reef on Sunday, about one nautical mile from the coast.

Queenscliff Dive Centre chief executive Jason Salter said the experienced diver got into trouble after removing the regulator from his mouth and swallowed mouthfuls of water.

"It was nothing sinister. He dropped the regulator from his mouth to talk to a buddy," he said.

Mr Salter, the boat's skipper, said dive instructor Mr Marshall saved the man's life after dragging him from the water and resuscitating him during the trip back to Swan Bay boat ramp.

"Bryon performed CPR for about five minutes and successfully got the guy breathing," Mr Salter said.

"That person is alive because of Bryon. He is a real hero. I firmly believe had it not been for the quick response of the boat crew, he would have died."

But Mr Marshall remained humble about the rescue, and expressed relief that the man survived the ordeal.

"It was really a team effort," he said. "The whole day was about whether he would survive. I feel great about it now."

Paramedics stabilised the man, who was breathing and conscious, at the ramp. He was then flown to The Alfred soon after 1pm.

A hospital spokesman yesterday said the man's condition was stable.

Divers of all skill levels should be prepared to encounter a situation like this. Check your local dive shop for appropriate rescue diver certifications.

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