Maroochydore surf lifesaver volunteer Robin Smith was the first responder when Bryce Johns had a cardiac arrest at Cotton Tree.
Maroochydore surf lifesaver volunteer Robin Smith was the first responder when Bryce Johns had a cardiac arrest at Cotton Tree.

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A MAROOCHYDORE lifesaver turned to his junior trainees and said "something bad has happened" as a woman ran screaming down the beach towards them.

The woman had just witnessed a man collapse by the water and caught volunteer lifesaver Robin Smith on a roving patrol.

The 52-year-old was the same age as his patient and despite seven years saving lives, had never encountered a situation like this before.

Mr Smith said Bryce Johns was on his back, feet in the water and "as blue as anything" when he reached him at Cotton Tree.

His training kicked in and he dragged Mr Johns up the beach before "launching" into CPR.

"I must have done maybe four rounds of compressions … we found a pulse, but he kept crashing," Mr Smith said.

Maroochydore Surf Lifesaver volunteer Robin Smith was the first responder when Bryce Johns had a cardiac arrest at Cotton Tree.
Maroochydore Surf Lifesaver volunteer Robin Smith was the first responder when Bryce Johns had a cardiac arrest at Cotton Tree.

He pulled out the defibrillator and shocked Mr Johns at least four times.

Mr Johns started to respond.

"By the time he started to make more noise the paramedics arrived and they shocked him again," Mr Smith said.

"He was a very sick man when I last saw him."

On Thursday, Mr Johns was well enough to call his rescuer to thank him.

Bryce Johns thanked lifesavers, emergency crews and doctors for saving his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest on October 27.
Bryce Johns thanked lifesavers, emergency crews and doctors for saving his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest on October 27.

"We were lucky to be there on hand," Mr Smith said.

"Some days your planets just align.

"I'm not sure what the outcome would have been if we had been further away."

Mr Smith said the defibrillator was a key part in resuscitation, but it was "just a box" without the right training.

"It certainly makes the job easier, but you need to know how to use it all," he said.

Mr Smith praised the Maroochydore club for the programs and "well-oiled" support system it provided for its volunteers.

While Mr Johns classed him as a hero, he was humble and put it down to an "automatic instinct".

"That's why I'm a surf lifesaver," he said.


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