Young Qld diver, 25, dead after spear fishing incident
UPDATED: A young diver who was found unconscious on the sea floor near Hinchinbrook Island on Saturday morning has passed away in Cairns Hospital.
EARLIER: Family and friends are praying for a miracle as a Mission Beach man fights for life in hospital after a spear fishing incident during a charity memorial event.
The 25-year-old was found unconscious on the sea floor by his father while they were both taking part in the Liam Nissen Memorial event, held annually in tribute to a Mission Beach teen who died several years ago.
It is believed he may have suffered shallow water blackout, Cairns Post reports.
Adrian Wayne, the spear fishing chairman of peak body Australian Underwater Federation, said the sport's community was reeling over the incident.
"We're just praying that the kid pulls through," he said.
"We'll do everything we can to help the family out.
"Regardless of the circumstances our heart goes out to them."
Cairns police Sen-Sgt Greg Giles said it was understood the man and his father had been free diving at Otter Reef, near Hinchinbrook Island, on Saturday morning when the incident occurred.
He said the father had dropped his spear and returned to the boat to get scuba gear to retrieve it.
A short time later he located his son's spear with a fish still attached, before finding him on the sea floor.
Emergency services have praised the quick actions of those involved who activated emergency beacons on two vessels to raise the alarm, then commenced CPR which continued until they met paramedics and the Rescue 510 emergency helicopter at South Mission Beach.
Among those doing the CPR was understood to be one of the event organisers Rick Bettua who earlier this year helped save the life of Far North shark attack victim Glenn Dickson.
Mr Bettua did not want to comment on the incident, but said the charity event had raised vital funds for Queensland Adolescent mental health services.
Queensland Ambulance Service senior operations supervisor Kev Morgan said the man's pulse returned after being shocked three times and given adrenalin by paramedics, but did not regain consciousness.
"The people on the boat have done very good CPR. They certainly did everything they could to give him the best possible chance," he said.
Mr Wayne said it had not been a sanctioned AUF event where strict rules apply regarding diving with a buddy.
He said the Far North spear fishing community had been through a tough year with the death of crocodile attack victim Warren Hughes and club member Ben Leahy, who captained the stricken fishing trawler Dianne.