Sea drama ends man's diving days

Last updated 13:00 27/12/2012

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A Christchurch diving enthusiast has been told he will never dive again after a family holiday ended with an emergency airlift to hospital, a punctured lung and suspected decompression sickness.

Geoff Brodie, a Christchurch barrister, was diving with his family in the Marlborough Sounds on Sunday when he struck trouble as he resurfaced.

The 62-year-old was picked up by a Nelson-Marlborough rescue helicopter crew and taken to Christchurch Hospital with suspected decompression sickness.

Mr Brodie was discharged on Christmas Eve after being treated for a punctured lung and undergoing treatments in the hospital's decompression chamber.

He was recovering at home yesterday.

"I'm really well. I've been through the middle of it," he said.

"It all worked out quite well because we all came home and had Christmas here. We've got our family at home, and now we're just keeping a very low profile."

Three family members had been on the boat with Mr Brodie, who has been a keen diver all his life.

He had taken care returning to the surface because of a previous lung injury, but in the end his lung "just couldn't take it".

Mr Brodie was disappointed he would now have to permanently give up diving.

"It's not great, but I wouldn't go through that again."

Spending much of Christmas Eve in hospital may not have been part of this year's holiday plan, but Mr Brodie praised his rescuers and hospital staff working over the holiday period.

"I'd turned up late on Sunday night and they had to stay there until four o'clock the next morning. They were absolutely buggered at the end of that."

Mr Brodie said he would recover at home until he was feeling up to finishing his holiday.

"We've got a holiday home in the Sounds, and when I'm feeling a bit better we'll go back." Fairfax NZ

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