FILE IMAGEUPDATE 3pm:Police have clarified that the man pulled unconscious from the surf at Dixon Park Beach on Thursday morning is aged 67, not 50 as previously thought.
Police said the man was standing on a sand bar about 20 metres from the shore before he was seen by lifeguards floating face-down.
Officers from from Newcastle City Local Area Command attended the man’s home at Merewether and tookhis wife to hospital.
The man remains in hospital, in intensive care, in a critical condition.
UPDATE 12.20pm:A 50-year-old man who was pulled, unconscious, from the surf at a Newcastle beach on Thursday morning has been taken to John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.
The incident occurred at Dixon Park Beach, a popular swimming and surfing spot between Merewether Beach and Bar Beach.
A NSW Ambulancespokesperson said it is one of 50 near drownings at NSW beaches in the first two weeks of 2018.
NSW Ambulance inspector Phil Hogan was on scene andworkedas part of four paramedic crews to stabilise the man, who was in cardiac arrest.
“The man had been in the water for under a minute when lifeguards pulled him from the surf and they began CPR until we arrived, where paramedics took over,” he said.
“This man’s heart actually stopped and we used the adrenaline to restart his heart – and it’s quite rare to have a patient come back like this.
“The fact that the man was provided with effective CPR almost immediately and the fact that the CPR was continuous is probably what has helped him recover in this instance.
“This man has received a very high level of care, as a result of a team effort by paramedics and lifeguards and it demonstrates the vital importance of carrying out CPR as soon as possible.
“I would particularly like to thank the lifeguards – they’ve done a fantastic job and they should be praised for their efforts.”
A spokesmanfor Newcastle City Council–whose lifeguards were on duty at the time–said the man was swimming between the flags when he lost consciousness.
“The lifeguards rushed to the man’s aid and immediately rendered first aid with the assistance of an off-duty nurse and paramedic,” the spokesman said.
EARLIER:Emergency crews have been called to Merewether beach after an unconscious man was pulled from the surf by lifeguards.
A NSW Ambulance spokesperson said paramedics were called at 10.15am.
The spokesperson said paramedics were working to resuscitate the patient just before 11am.
It’s expected the man will be taken to John Hunter Hospital.
More details on his condition are unknown at this stage.