What led to scary shallow water blackout at public pool

A SWIMMER who suffered a rare shallow water blackout at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre over the weekend had been doing breathing exercises, claims a woman who was using the pool.

The 35-year-old man was in a critical condition after the near-drowning at the pool off Marine Pde and Nind St at Southport about 10.45am on Saturday.

The swimmer ran into trouble at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Southport.
The swimmer ran into trouble at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre, Southport.

But he has now been discharged from Gold Coast University Hospital after the incident, which bears some resemblance to the episode which took the life of Winter Olympics star Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin.

Mr Pullin suffered a shallow water blackout and drowned while spearfishing at Palm Beach on July 8 last year. His sudden death captured attention across the nation.

A woman, who asked not to be named, contacted the Bulletin to provide more information about Saturday's near-drowning, which resulted in the man being treated by Queensland Ambulance paramedics and Gold Coast City Council's pool employees at the pool.

She was "praying" for the man's speedy recovery.

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Picture: Gold Coast City Council
Gold Coast Aquatic Centre. Picture: Gold Coast City Council

"I was there swimming while my daughter was doing her high board diving," she said.

"Just before it happened I was slowly breaststroke swimming and heard him talking to a lady in the water about breath holding exercises."

The woman said the man was explaining "how to hold your breath for a count and then puff out air", while undertaking the exercises himself.

"Then as I was getting out of the pool a few minutes after that I noticed he was doing those breathing exercises again on his own, and minutes later he must have passed out in the water and then they started working on him," she said.

"I just thought it was important to give that information as (it) may be a contributing factor as to why he passed out."

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre - the 2018 Commonwealth Games swimming and diving venue - is a Gold Coast City Council facility.

Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin at Hotham Alpine Resort. Mr Pullin drowned after he suffered a shallow water blackout while spearfishing at Palm Beach.
Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin at Hotham Alpine Resort. Mr Pullin drowned after he suffered a shallow water blackout while spearfishing at Palm Beach.

Swimmer critical after 'shallow water blackout' at public pool

Saturday: A man was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after a suspected shallow water blackout while swimming at Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Saturday.

A similar incident took the life of Winter Olympics star Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin, who suffered a shallow water blackout and drowned while spearfishing at Palm Beach on July 8 last year.

Queensland Ambulance was called to Saturday's "post immersion" incident at the pool off Marine Pde and Nind St, Southport at 10.45am, a spokeswoman said.

The patient, reportedly a 35-year-old man, was in a critical condition at 11am.

Critical Care and High Acuity Response Unit paramedics were in attendance at the centre, which was a 2018 Commonwealth Games venue.

The swimmer was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition.

A hospital spokeswoman was not able to provide an update on the man's condition at 1.45pm.

Gold Coast Aquatic Centre is a Gold Coast City Council facility.

A spokesperson for the council said: "The City is aware of a shallow water blackout incident that occurred at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre this morning."

Staff were immediately alerted and provided first aid.

Originally published as What led to scary shallow water blackout at public pool



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