German diver's heart stops for 20 minutes

2015-06-26 13:32

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Durban - A German tourist is in a critical condition in Margate Hospital on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast after her heart stopped for about 20 minutes after a dive on Friday, paramedics said. 

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said the woman, 42, who lives in Cologne, Germany, was apparently diving off Shelly Beach. 

"A report from the scene indicates that the female tourist was diving at [a depth of] about 10m when she 'went into distress'," he said. 

"Apparently she came up and stopped breathing. Our guys were taken out by the NSRI [National Sea Rescue Institute] to the boat where they attempted to resuscitate her.

"Paramedics started advanced life support resuscitation and after about 20 minutes managed to get the patient’s heart started again. Soon after the patient started with spontaneous respiration, you could hear the relief and joy from fellow divers."

Botha said it was not clear what had happened to the woman. 

* A previous version of this story indicated the woman's age at 30. A revised statement from the paramedics involved corrected her age to 42.

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