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Surf pros help save Angourie drowning victim

Paramedics from NSW Ambulance and Westpac Rescue Helicopter stabilise a man on Angourie Point beach after he was brought in after a suspected heart attack while surfing.
Paramedics from NSW Ambulance and Westpac Rescue Helicopter stabilise a man on Angourie Point beach after he was brought in after a suspected heart attack while surfing. Adam Hourigan

TWO professional surfers, an off-duty paramedic and an ex firey were on hand when a 52-year-old man suffered a suspected heart attack in the surf at Angourie Point.

Local professional surfer Chris Zaffis first saw the man in the arms of his son floating in the channel about 10am yesterday.

"The son was holding his head out of the water and calling out for help," Chris said. Two-time ASP longboard champion Taylor Jensen, who was also in the line-up yesterday, quickly paddled after Chris.

Chris's dad Bill Zaffis and an off-duty paramedic from the Sunshine Coast, 'Brad', paddled in from the beach to assist the man.

They put him on a surfboard and pushed him to shore while Chris performed CPR on the man.

Chris said he was shocked when he first saw the boy calling for help.

"But I didn't think. I just did what I was trained to do," Chris said.

Bill said when they got the man to shore Chris and paramedic 'Brad' continued to perform CPR for 25 minutes before the ambulance arrived.

An ex fire fighter was also on the beach who helped the man. "He was lucky it was a crowded day at the beach," Bill said.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter landed on the beach and flew the man to the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Chris said he has done a few first-aid courses before so he was able to react instantly.

"Hopefully he is alright," Chris said.

An Ambulance Service of NSW spokesman said they suspected the man had a heart attack.

He was in cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived on the scene.

A Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter spokesman said the man was in a critical condition when he was taken away.

 

Topics:  angourie point, chris zaffis, drowning, editors picks



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