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Members of public instrumental in saving life of tourist

A 50 year old female is lucky to be alive after members of the public initiated first aid after she suffered a massive a heart attack while swimming with her husband at West Beach, Robberg Island, in Plettenberg Bay on Friday 5 January 2018.

The incident happened at approximately 2 pm on Friday 5 January 2018. It is reported that a 50 year old female from Holland was enjoying a swim in the ocean with her husband when tragedy struck
NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteers were activated following reports of a female suffering a suspected heart attack at Robberg Nature Reserve. NSRI medics responded from the land side and by sea rescue craft, launching their rescue vessels, Ray Farnham Rescuer and Leonard Smith Rescuer with an NSRI doctor onboard. The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was also activated.
On arrival on the scene the female, on a hike with her husband, and swimming at West Beach, Robberg Island, was found to be in a critical condition. Members of the public raised the alarm while attending to the female providing First Aid. Medlife ambulance services were dispatched to stand-by at the car park.
During medical treatment on the beach the 50 year old female went into cardiac arrest twice. On both occasions extensive CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts and heart defibrillation using an automated external defibrillator (AED) restored her heart beat and restored spontaneous breathing.
The NSRI doctor and NSRI medics continued with extensive medical treatment in an effort to stabilise the patient. They were joined by EMS/AMS paramedics on the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter that arrived on the scene.
Following extensive efforts the female was stabilised and airlifted to a hospital in George by EMS/AMS Skymed helicopter in a serious but stable condition. During the night, following further stabilisation by hospital staff, the victim was transferred to a hospital in Mossel Bay and remains in intensive care in a serious but stable condition.
Family support is been provided by the Dutch Consulate.


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