Man tells how he saved sailing victim

By Ted JeoryA GRASS-CUTTER has told how he helped save the life of a man who collapsed while swimming to safety from his capsized boat.Martin Holland, who works at Ardleigh Reservoir, said he gave heart massage to a 68-year-old man who had been found face down in the water.

By Ted Jeory

A PENSIONER who was rescued from a reservoir after collapsing while trying to swim to safety from his capsized boat has died in hospital.

The 68-year-old man, who has not been named, had been sailing with a woman at Ardleigh Reservoir when their dinghy capsized at about 2pm on Thursday.

He tried to swim to safety and was pulled from the water before being given mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and airlifted to Colchester General Hospital, where he died yesterday evening.

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Meanwhile, Martin Holland, a grass-cutter who works at Ardleigh Reservoir, has told he gave heart massage to the pensioner after he had been found face down in the water.

Mr Holland said he had been was doing some maintenance on a machine near the sailing club when he had heard a woman's screams coming from the water.

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“I was working by the perimeter fence when I heard this call for help. I ran down and there were three teenage anglers who had been fishing by the water's edge,” he recalled.

“But in the water I could see this man and a woman in difficulty. I think their boat had capsized and although they'd managed to upright it, they'd decided to leave it there and swim to shore.

“At some stage, she realised there was a problem with the man and called for help.”

Mr Holland, from Alresford, said as soon as he had reached the bank, he had helped the woman pull the unconscious man from the water and an ambulance was called.

“The man didn't look too good. We laid him down, but I couldn't find a pulse. The woman gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and I gave heart massage,” he added.

“She was very upset and kept saying 'Come round, I don't want to lose you', but we weren't getting a response.

“We were with him for about 20 minutes, but then, all of a sudden, I thought I found a pulse.”

When the paramedics arrived, they took over and tried to revive the man through cardiopulmonary resuscitation while Mr Holland comforted the woman.

The pensioner was then flown by the Essex Air Ambulance to Colchester General Hospital, where he was treated in its intensive care unit.

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