HERO: Michael Daly helped resuscitate a man at Coolum.
HERO: Michael Daly helped resuscitate a man at Coolum. Warren Lynam

Lifeguards bring dead man back to life

A DAUGHTER feared she may have buried her father this week when his lifeless, pale body was pulled from Coolum main beach.

Senior lifeguard Michael Daly was one of the first to rush to his aid, and began eight taxing minutes of CPR with the help of colleagues Tim Maulder, who had been conducting jet-ski shark patrols, and Luke Patterson who was on duty to the north.

The man, believed to be local, had only been swimming in knee-deep water when he either blacked out from a medical episode, or was knocked unconscious in the surf.

Once ashore the man's colour revealed oxygenated blood was not flowing through his system, his pulse was undetectable, and decades of experience told Mr Daly when someone needs resuscitating, it's often too late.

But as two Victorian off-duty paramedics reassured the lifeguard of 27 years that he and his fellow rescuers were not alone, signs of life began to return to the man.

First a pulse, then colour before the crew began ventilations to help the man breathe until 20 minutes later he could do so on his own.

Another 10 minutes and Queensland Ambulance was on scene. Moments later the "lifeless man" was chatting to paramedics as they drove him to hospital in what was an "incredibly rewarding" and rare scene for Mr Daly.

Yesterday, the humble stalwart said he received a call from the man's daughter who told him he was doing as well as could be expected and would begin rehabilitation.

Undeterred by tragedies, Mr Daly said he believed he spoke for all lifeguards when saying they enjoyed their job, and unfortunately the stressful times were just "part and parcel".

"You can go from naught to 100 in a split second, it's just the nature of the job," he said.

He said the latest rescue could have easily become fatal had the man not swum between the flags.

Lifeguard supervisor Anthony King praised the team effort, but said two recent drownings in Noosa was another grim reminder that if lifeguards can't see you, they can't save you.



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