'Horror of a near-drowning is extremely traumatic'

UPDATE 11.30am: PARAMEDICS were called to a house on Phillip St, Goonellabah at 7.45pm Saturday to reports a man was unconscious after nearly drowning in an inflatable pool.

Police said after calling Triple-0, a witness was guided through the CPR process and was able to revive him.

This incident has come after more than 225 drownings/near drownings around the state in just two months.

NSW Ambulance Inspector John Brotherhood said the trauma suffered by families and bystanders at such incidents could not be over-stated.

"Anybody who has experienced the horror of a drowning or near-drowning knows it is extremely traumatic for everyone, especially when children are involved," he said.

Insp Brotherhood said learning CPR and displaying a CPR chart in a prominent area of pools was essential.

"We encourage everyone to attend an accredited first aid course and learn CPR - this can give you the confidence to assist and may help save a life," he said.

"If you're going to go swimming have a plan. Take a friend. Don't drink and swim. Know your limitations.

"With rivers and estuaries, check for submerged objects and also the depth before jumping in."

NSW Ambulance offers this advice about pool safety:

  • In a medical emergency dial Triple Zero and ask for Ambulance
  • Enrol your child in swimming lessons
  • Don't expect older children to look after younger siblings - children are easily distracted
  • Check that your pool fence complies with the latest Australian Standards and is in good condition
  • Take pool toys out when finished in the pool, so children can't be tempted to try and get them
  • Don't drink alcohol while swimming, or when supervising children swimming. 


ORIGINAL STORY 8am: AN EVENING with friends ended in a close encounter with death for one 43-year-old father, who was found unconscious in an inflatable pool.

The 43-year-old Goonellabah man's son had gone inside to let his sister know "dad wants you".

But when she went outside, she found him face down in the pool.

Richmond Local Area Command Inspector Brad Walpole said the daughter thought the man was mucking around, but when she pulled his head out, he was blue.

Witnesses called Triple-0 and were given CPR instructions.

Insp Walpole said the man responded after a few breaths and compressions.

An ambulance arrived a short time later, stabilised him and conveyed him to Lismore Base Hospital.

He was admitted overnight for observation and was released on Sunday.