A woman learning to dive was rescued after nearly drowning at Shelly Beach.

Just after 10.15am yesterday morning (Wednesday, 14 February), Surf Life Saving NSW, Manly lifeguards, NSW Ambulance, NSW Police, and the CareFlight Rescue Helicopter, responded to a report of a semiconscious diver pulled from the water at Shelly Beach, Manly.

It is understood that a 33-year-old woman had been with a group of divers under instruction at Shelly Beach, when at a depth of approximately 5m, she became separated from the group and was observed to be behaving in an unusual manner.

On closer inspection the woman was found without her respirator in her mouth, and she was taken to the surface and assisted from the water in a semiconscious state. She was treated with oxygen initially by lifeguards, who had been alerted and come from Manly Beach.

Four NSW Ambulance crews arrived at Shelly Beach just after 10.30am, including Intensive Care Paramedics, a Special Operations Paramedic, and NSW Ambulance Inspector Alex Lim.

The CareFlight Rescue Helicopter was tasked from Westmead with a Critical Care Paramedic and doctor on board, landing at Bower Steet Reserve, Bower Street, Manly, just before 10.40am, and making their way down to Shelly Beach.

The woman was carried from the beach in a stokes litter by police officers and paramedics and placed into an Intensive Care Ambulance, where she was treated by the CareFlight medical team and paramedics. After medical assessment, it was determined the woman was not suffering from ‘the bends’ and did not need to be treated in a hyperbaric chamber.

Although the woman’s condition improved at the scene, the CareFlight medical team accompanied her in the ambulance, which took her in a stable condition to Northern Beaches Hospital just after 11.00am.

Image: Northern Beaches Advocate (file)

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