Bravery award for pool deck ‘miracle’

MORGAN Durrington will turn 21 in the near future thanks to South Grafton Indoor Pool lifeguard and operations manager Tony Brindle.

On Wednesday Mr Brindle's lifesaving efforts were suitably rewarded when he received a Royal Life Saving Association Commendation for Bravery from the Governor of NSW, David Hurley, at Government House.

In November 2014 a lap swimmer at the pool alerted Mr Brindle to a pool user who had been underwater near the end of the pool for some time.

"The swimmer said 'I think there's something going on with this bloke'," Mr Brindle said.

"I said to give him a nudge, but he didn't respond, so I jumped in and hauled him out. That's when all hell broke loose."

Mr Brindle said he was a "horrible bluey, purple colour" and he could not find a pulse.

"There was blood and mucous coming out and he was so full of water I had to keep turning him over to get more water out as I did CPR," he said.

"I just kept going probably for 15 minutes until the ambos came. They said later what I'd done had kept him alive until they got to him."

Mr Brindle is a semi-retired road cyclist who has finished the 228km Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic half a dozen times.

"That (the rescue) was the hardest thing I've ever done," Mr Brindle said.

"After the ambos took over, I was done. I had nothing left."

Mr Brindle tried to play down his heroics, saying it was "his job", but he did acknowledge the result in saving Mr Durrington, then aged 19, was miraculous.

"When the ambos were loading him, I thought he was done for," he said.

"The best scenario I thought was he would be a vegetable."

Unbelievably, Mr Durrington turned up at the pool three days later.

"He just walked up to me to thank me and shake my hand. That's when the miracle thing kicked in," Mr Brindle said.

Tony Brindle is presented with his award from the NSW governor. Photo courtesy of Rob Tuckwell Photography
Tony Brindle is presented with his award from the NSW governor. Photo courtesy of Rob Tuckwell Photography


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