Unknown Woman found floating unconscious, rescued - NSW, Australia

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DandyDon

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A scuba diver was taken to hospital by helicopter after being found unconscious off Long Reef.

Shortly after 9.30am this morning (Sunday, 25 February), Surf Life Saving NSW, NSW Ambulance and NSW Police responded to a report of a female scuba diver found floating unconscious off Long Reef.

The 29-year-old woman was reportedly with a dive group, and had made a rapid ascent from approximately 10m depth. Crew on the boat spotted her floating unconscious and pulled her aboard the boat, calling for emergency assistance.

Lifesavers and water police made their way to the vessel, as three NSW Ambulance crews, including NSW Ambulance Inspector Andrew Wood, and the Toll NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopter tasked from Bankstown urgently made their way to Fishermans Beach at Collaroy.

Aboard the dive vessel, the woman was apparently suffering from decompression sickness, known as ‘the bends’. Decompression sickness occurs when the body undergoes a rapid pressure change, causing dissolved gases within the body to emerge as bubbles within blood and body tissues, causing intense pain and can be fatal.

As NSW Ambulance crews arrived near Long Reef Golf Club, options were assessed for getting the woman to shore. The Toll NSW Ambulance Rescue Helicopter arrived overhead just after 10.00am, and winched a Critical Care Paramedic down to the boat.

Following an assessment of the woman’s condition, the paramedic requested an urgent winch back to the helicopter. The woman was prepared and winched back aboard the helicopter with the paramedic just before 10.30am.

The helicopter set down at a helipad on Long Reef headland so a full medical assessment of the woman’s condition could be conducted by paramedics and the aeromedical Critical Care Doctor.

The medical team found the now semiconscious woman’s condition to be deteriorating, and decided to place her into an induced coma. It was then decided to fly her to Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick, where a specialised hyperbaric chamber and medical team were put on alert for her arrival.

With the woman in a serious condition, the rescue helicopter departed Long Reef just after 11.15am, landing at Prince of Wales Hospital just after 11.25am. The woman was then taken into the care of the specialist hyperbaric team at the hospital.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a 33-year-old woman was pulled semiconscious from the water, while learning to dive under instruction with a group at Shelly Beach, Manly.
 
And no comments so far about this on the main Sydney based Facebook scuba diving page apart from a link to the same article. Also nothing in the mainstream media (press and TV). The dive site was presumably The Apartments, a very good and popular dive site. However, depth is well over 10 metres, in the early 20s at least.
 
And no comments so far about this on the main Sydney based Facebook scuba diving page apart from a link to the same article. Also nothing in the mainstream media (press and TV). The dive site was presumably The Apartments, a very good and popular dive site. However, depth is well over 10 metres, in the early 20s at least.
Yes - the typical dives at Long Reef would have a maximum depth of around 25 metres. It is a beautiful spot with colourful sponge gardens, swim throughs, lots of fish. The article reported a rapid ascent from 10 metres, suggesting that maybe something happened towards the end of the dive.
 
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