RNLI volunteers rescue father knocked unconscious after 'freak' wave

Duncan Gordon MacDonald was knocked into the water at Westport Beach in Campbeltown on August 6.

RNLI volunteers in Campbeltown successfully resuscitate father after ‘freak’ wave knocked him into sea RNLI via Supplied

A father was successfully rescued after a “freak wave” at a beach knocked him into the sea unconscious.

Duncan Gordon MacDonald spent time in hospital following the incident, which happened at Westport Beach in Campbeltown at around 5pm on Saturday, August 6.

The alarm was raised when Mr MacDonald, who had been paddling in the sea with his nephew and great-niece, got into difficulty in water when a “freak wave” knocked all three off their feet.

Both of RNLI Campbeltown’s lifeboats, who were initially launched to the report of two children in difficulty, were paged to assist after receiving reports of a male missing at sea.

The coastguard spotted Mr MacDonald, who was then successfully rescued by the crew of the D-class lifeboat who provided chest compressions.

Mr MacDonald was transferred to Glasgow where he was put into an induced coma, before being placed in the major trauma ward.

David MacDonald, Gordon’s son, said “a tonne of weight had been lifted off” when he saw his father was alive.

He said: “I was standing talking to the nurse and I looked over at him and he just opened his eyes and looked at me.

“I nearly fell over. I was speaking to him and asking him how he was, and he stuck his thumbs up.”

“I’ve never felt so much relief in my life as I did on Sunday morning, my Dad’s here.”

As consequence of successful resuscitation, the father was found to have an infection in his lungs along with a fractured sternum.

After spending more time recuperating in the hospital, he was able to return home on Thursday, August 18.

Michael Smith, RNLI lifeboat volunteer, said: “I had a level head on the way out, we were discussing what we were going to do and what was needed.

“When we picked the casualty out of the water, all our plans and thoughts were forgotten, and we naturally picked up the RNLI casualty care training and it fell into place.”

Ruaridh McAulay, coxswain at RNLI Campbeltown said: “It is amazing to have such a positive outcome from a shout such as this and I would like to commend the D-class crew on their excellent work and how well they worked in dealing with the casualty.

“I would also like to thank the other emergency services involved with how well everyone worked as a team to give the casualty the best chance possible.

“Without volunteers from the local community this could have been a very different outcome and each one should be congratulated for the role they played in ensuring that a life was saved.”

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