Quick action saves diver

Ratu Ritova Baleilevuka (left) with Meli Kapaiwai, the man who saved his life at the Malevu Village foreshore. Picture SUPPLIED

QUICK action by a Fulton Hogan Hiways worker saved the life of a diver at the Coral Coast last week.

Meli Kapaiwai, a road foreman, was travelling with his family along the Queens Rd, Malevu, when he came across a group of villagers standing around the seemingly lifeless body of Ratu Ritova Baleilevuka.

Mr Kapaiwai stopped to investigate and was informed that Ratu Meli had developed difficulties while diving off the coast. He had sunk to the bottom of the seabed and had been dragged ashore by an 11-year-old boy.

Fulton Hogan Hiways provides compulsory first aid training for employees and Mr Kapaiwai’s life-saving skills kicked in.

“Following my first aid training, I checked the man’s mouth and found that his tongue had curled into his throat and was blocking his breathing,” he said.

“I cleared his air-passage and immediately began applying cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).”

With the help of the villagers and prolonged CPR, Ratu Ritova was revived.

Mr Kapaiwai rushed him to the Sigatoka Hospital because he still had trouble breathing.

Doctor Sapna Singh, the medic who treated Ratu Ritova at the hospital, commended Mr Kapaiwai for his quick action and Fulton Hogan Hiways for providing the first aid training that saved the Malevu villager’s life.

Fulton Hogan Hiways Safety, Quality, Training and Environmental manager John Tinsley said safety training was compulsory for the company’s 465 employees.

“We are totally committed to a safe environment, whether it is at work, at home or in the community,” he said.

“And having our staff trained in first aid means that wherever we are, there is basic first aid available. Meli proved how important this training is,” Mr Tinsley said.

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