Mates save surfer after he collapses

00:09, Mar 27 2014
John McLeod in Libya
Photos from John Horse McLeod's time in Libya last year

A morning surf recce by New Plymouth District councillor John McLeod ended up probably saving a man's life.

The former SAS soldier and third-term councillor was at the Waiwhakaiho rivermouth checking out the surf with three friends about 9am yesterday. While they were deciding whether to go out, Ted Burrows, 63, another friend who had just come in from the surf, collapsed next to his car.

The councillor said Mr Burrows told him he had pains in his chest, which indicated to him he was having a heart attack. "I laid him out, checked all his vitals. He was still breathing, normal but shallow, he could just talk to me quietly."

Together with his mates, Mr McLeod removed Mr Burrows' wetsuit and covered him with a sleeping bag and blankets to keep him warm.

Though it was unnecessary to perform cardio pulmonary resuscitation, Mr McLeod said he was ready to do so while he waited for the ambulance.

Once in the ambulance and given some "shots", Mr Burrows' condition stabilised, Mr McLeod said.

Mr Burrows was in a stable condition at Taranaki Base Hospital last night and was due to be released this morning, Mr McLeod said.

St John spokesman Ian May confirmed a man was attended to by paramedics at Waiwhakaiho at 9.28am yesterday. He said the man had not suffered a heart attack but was "very unwell" when the ambulance crew arrived.


Taranaki Daily News