Reunited with rescuers

Reunited with rescuers

THE first time Ian Kininmonth met these City of Perth volunteer surf lifesavers, he was flat on his back, breathing emergency oxygen and waiting for an ambulance.

Last Friday, less than one week since the Mt Hawthorn resident suffered a heart attack about 300m offshore City Beach, he greeted his saviours with a hug.

Mr Kininmonth was competing in the final race of the Indian Ocean Paddlers summer series from Swanbourne to Sorrento when he started losing feeling in his arm.

“I was feeling not-quite-right; my chest was tight and I was getting weaker and weaker,” he said.

“Something was wrong, so I started paddling to shore.

“I was concentrating on my breathing and trying to keep upright. I didn’t panic because I knew there would be people on patrol and I would be in good hands very soon.”

If Mr Kininmonth’s stepdaughter Katie had not moved to Canberra in January, she would have been one of the surf lifesavers on duty.

“In a way I was used to it, having had Katie experiment on me, being the guinea pig,” the 50-year-old said.

“I am just so grateful they were there.

“They are volunteers, by and large, giving their time. For me, every second counted. If they hadn’t gotten to me so fast, things would have been a lot worse.”

Mr Kininmonth said he used to think he was bulletproof.

“A week ago I thought I was the healthiest and fittest that I have ever been,” he said.

“The doctors said I was just very unlucky that there was a rupture in the wall of my artery.

“I went straight into surgery at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, they put a stent in my artery and I got out on Tuesday. I am on medication now, probably for the rest of life.”

Mosman Park resident and Community Newspaper Group journalist Montana Ardon was the patrol captain on duty.

“When we first saw him lying on the sand, we thought, ‘Oh, this is a fit man, what is going on?’,” the 24-year-old said.

“It just proves that it can happen to anyone.

“We’re so glad that Ian is okay. It has only been a week and now we are standing here with him. It’s a pretty quick recovery.”

City of Perth Surf Life Saving Club president Grant Trew said he was proud of the young surf lifesavers’ efforts in helping Mr Kininmonth.

“We have had a number of high-intense actions and resuscitations this season,” Mr Trew said.

“This is our second season of no clubrooms; operating out of temporary first aid rooms, containers and people’s garages.

“It is a fantastic testament to our volunteers that they are continuing to provide this service, weekend after weekend. To continue doing what surf life saving is all about, protecting the public.”