Man fights for life after sailing drama

By Ted JeoryA PENSIONER was fighting for his life last night after collapsing as he desperately tried to swim to safety from his stricken boat.The 68-year-old man had been sailing with another crew member at Ardleigh Reservoir at about 2pm yesterday when his dinghy capsized.

By Ted Jeory

A PENSIONER was fighting for his life last night after collapsing as he desperately tried to swim to safety from his stricken boat.

The 68-year-old man had been sailing with another crew member at Ardleigh Reservoir at about 2pm yesterday when his dinghy capsized.

While his woman crewmate stayed with the upturned boat, the man tried to swim to the water's edge, but collapsed on the way.

She spotted him lying face down in the water near to the shore and raised the alarm. A group of anglers then pulled him out while another man called the emergency services.

An ambulance and the air ambulance were on the scene within minutes and paramedics resuscitated the man before he was airlifted to Colchester General Hospital.

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The man - who has not been named, but who comes from Colchester - was on an intensive care ward last night, where his condition was said to be “stable”.

Essex Ambulance Service operations manager, Terry Howell, said: “The man's crewmate spotted him face down in the water close to the edge. He was pulled from the reservoir by people on the shore.

“Staff in the emergency operations centre provided cardiopulmonary resuscitation advice over the phone until crews arrived.

“We worked on him for quite a while on scene before flying him to Colchester General Hospital in a critical condition.”

Mr Howell added cardiopulmonary resuscitation had continued throughout the emergency flight to the Turner Road hospital.

“Staff there have managed to get a pulse back and he has now been moved to intensive care. The other crewmate was rescued and was unhurt, but cold,” he said.

Inspector Paul Morton, of Clacton police, said officers had also attended the scene and added: “We are satisfied that this has been a tragic accident.”

ted.jeory@eadt.co.uk

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