Man critical after dam plunge

SES volunteers look over the slide at the Tarrango Road dam.

By Kath Gannaway

A 51-year-old Gladysdale man remains in a critical but stable condition in the Alfred Hospital today (Monday, 29 January) after an incident at a dam on Tarrango Road on Sunday.
Family and friends of the man were with him at the dam when he failed to surface after going into the water from a water slide at around 12.30pm.
The dam has been a popular swimming spot with locals for a number of years and the man is believed to be a tenant on the property.
Leading Senior Constable Tony Pagels of Warburton Police said when the man didn’t surface family and friends went in and pulled him to the shore, commenced CPR and called an ambulance.
Upper Yarra SES members provided shade in the blistering heat while Yarra Junction and Warburton police and then paramedics did CPR, eventually reviving the man who was unconscious when pulled from the water.
A witness at the scene told the Mail it was a distressing situation for everyone at the dam enjoying the water on one of the hottest days of the summer.
He praised the work of the three police officers who he said took turns to do CPR, and the paramedics who he said worked 900% to bring the man back.
“It was an incredible effort by all the emergency services,” he said.
“The ambulance just had so many systems in place to try to get him back and they just never gave up … worked and worked and worked on him.”
The man was airlifted to the Alfred Hospital in a critical condition.
SES and police said the incident showed the importance of vigilance around water.
“It highlights the importance of being conscious of everyone when you’re around dams or any water, to keep an eye on each other, which is what they have done and managed to get this man to shore promptly,” LSC Pagels said.