Off-duty Barry Island coastguard helps in West Wales emergency
AN off-duty Barry Island Coastguard who was involved in a rescue in West Wales has described how he attempted to save an elderly man's life.
Tony Macpherson, 57, was visiting friends at Burry Port on Saturday, September 8, when he saw a man lying on the floor having fallen from his bicycle on the Millennium Coastal Path.
Tony, who trained in first aid through the Coastguards, gave the elderly man CPR until paramedics arrived. He also prepared a landing area for the Air Ambulance so the man could be airlifted to Morriston Hospital.
Mountbatten Road resident Tony, a Coastguard team member for 12 years, said his instincts took over as soon as he saw the man on the ground, with another person trying to help.
"It happened so quickly you don't have time to think," he said.
"Your training kicks in and you have to go and help."
Dad-of-two Tony cleared the man's airways before starting CPR. "I showed the other guy how to do it and between us we kept it up for about eight minutes before the first responder arrived," he said.
Paramedics then arrived too, and used a defibrillator to start the man's heart.
"They said they were going to take him to hospital by air ambulance, and there was quite a crowd by now, so the best thing I could do was make sure the bystanders were out of the way so it could land," he added.
"With the Coastguard we have been trained to organise helicopter landings, so I brought it in."
Tony even used signals to notify the pilot of overhead cables.
"It was a bit surreal and not something you expect to come across," he added. "It's only the third time I have had to deal with something like that."
Unfortunately the man died later, after arriving at hospital.