Tourist saves man from drowning at Coast beach

HERO: Melbourne man Ben Wilson-Powell was in the right place at the right time yesterday. He saved a mans life using CPR at Cotton tree.
HERO: Melbourne man Ben Wilson-Powell was in the right place at the right time yesterday. He saved a mans life using CPR at Cotton tree. John McCutcheon

A MELBOURNE man will always remember the Sunshine Coast as the place he saved a life.

Victorian tourist Ben Wilson-Powell was walking near The Boat Shed cafe at Cotton Tree yesterday about 4.30pm when he heard screams for help.

Running towards the scene Mr Wilson-Powell said he saw a woman crying out for someone to call an ambulance, struggling to pull her husband from the water.

The man wasn't moving. Mr Wilson-Powell and another man sprang to action and dragged the unresponsive man to the sand.

The ambulance was called but it was Mr Wilson-Powell who saved the man's life.

He began to perform life-saving CPR, and after a minute the man regained consciousness.

But he then began to seizure.

Mr Wilson-Powell said he knew what was happening straight away, being an epileptic himself.

"I knew how to help him." Mr Wilson-Powell said.

"After a bit he came too again, and started to gather his bearings.

"At first he was just saying his wife's name then he started to look around.

"His wife... she was pretty roughed up and in shock, I think."

The ambulance arrived on scene. The man, about 45 years of age, was transported to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital.

A hospital spokeswoman said the man was in a stable condition.

Mr Wilson-Powell said he was beyond glad he completed a CPR course two years ago.

He never expected to need CPR, but the painting business owner said it couldn't hurt to learn in case something happened on site.

"When it's happening it all sort of comes back to you...and you just do it," Mr Wilson-Powell said.

"I remember the step of having to clear the airways - then after three pushes on his chest I would give him air.

"I was probably doing it for a minute before he came 'round."

Mr Wilson-Powell said waking up this morning, the weight of situation still hadn't hit him.

"We just went to the beach for a swim and we nearly didn't even go.

"We had heard good things about The Boat Shed so we decided to go and try it... lucky we did."

Mr Wilson-Powell said his wife and daughter visited the Coast for holidays once a year.

"It's a pretty odd feeling we were just here for holidays," he said.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to me before."

Topics:  cotton tree cpr drowning editors picks queensland ambulance and emergency services seizure sunshine coast sunshine coast university hospital

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