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Off-duty firefighters save man who suffered cardiac arrest on beach

The three firefighters were on a beach in Cornwall when a man collapsed in shallow water.

Kel and Laura Watson-Finch (London Fire Brigade)
Kel and Laura Watson-Finch (London Fire Brigade)

By Alistair Mason, PA

Three off-duty firefighters, including a husband and wife, came to the rescue when a man suffered a cardiac arrest on a beach.

Kel and Laura Watson-Finch, from Hainault and Romford fire stations respectively, were on holiday in Cornwall when they saw a man collapse as he pulled a boat back to Pentewan beach and rushed to help him.

“We checked for a pulse and tried talking to him but we had no response,” Mr Watson-Finch told the London Fire Brigade website.

“We then lifted him away from the water onto a slipway with another bystander where we tried again to get a response.”

The pair took it in turns to do CPR, along with another firefighter who happened to be on holiday in the area, Shaun Bishop from Kingston Fire Station.

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(London Fire Brigade)

Paramedics then took over before the man, who was in his late 50s, was taken by air ambulance to Truro Hospital, where Mr Bishop visited him a couple of days later.

“As I approached the bed, I saw his wife first and she gave me a massive hug and was crying,” Mr Bishop said.

“I shook his hand and he was crying and saying that he couldn’t thank me enough. I felt emotional as well. When I got to him, he was basically dead and to see him three or four days later it was an incredible feeling.”

The man is now facing a triple heart bypass operation.

Mr Watson-Finch said: “It was just an immediate reaction to help. We acted purely by instinct with what we saw. The gentleman coming round and showing signs of life showed a positive outcome which is all we could hope for.”

PA

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