Underwater swimmer saved in Stoke Newington

Hackney council pic: back row, Alex Rainsby, left, Ed Bray (tallest) and Filippo Fusi; front, KirstyGifford-Pitcher, left, Vicki Smith (dark jumper) and Darryl Kelley 100415

REGULAR SWIMMER Ed Bray was enjoying a swim at Clissold pool in Stoke Newington when he suddenly collapsed.

Still in the water, he shut down, he later recalled, “like a computer, when the power cord is pulled”.

The Camden schoolteacher stopped breathing and started to turn blue.

Fortunately, lifeguards Kirsty Gifford-Pitcher and Darryl Kelley, of GLL, saw that he was in trouble and leapt to the 35-year-old’s aid, hauling him, unconscious to perform six rounds of CPR on him.

He had suffered hypoxia – lack of oxygen – while swimming underwater.

Manager Vicki Smith and lifeguards Filippo Fusi and Alex Rainsby performed chest pumps and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until Bray  began breathing again. He was rushed to Whittington Hospital in Islington, to be monitored overnight.

Returning to thank his rescuers, he said: “The first thing I knew about what happened was when I heard the sound of loud breathing

“That was me – I had started breathing again.

“The whole experience was very surreal.

“I had stared death in the face.”

Hackney council says the lifeguards’ training includes refresher courses of four hours a month.

The rescued swimmer is now fundraising for the Whittington Hospital. To donate.

Hamish Scott 100415

* Hackney council-supplied pic shows: back row, Alex Rainsby, left, Ed Bray (tallest) and Filippo Fusi; front, Kirsty Gifford-Pitcher, left, Vicki Smith (dark jumper) and Darryl Kelley

* Backstory: After the London Fields party

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