Man rescued after two hours trapped up to his nose in water

A man was up to his nose in water after his excavator rolled into a dam and trapped him there for two hours on the NSW north coast in Australia.

A rescue helicopter air crewman Graham Nickisson told news.com.au that Daniel Miller, 45, was excavating on his property at Charlotte Bay when his whole world turned upside down.

"His excavator slid sideways into a small dam and he was trapped with his airways or nose or mouth just above the water," Nickisson said.

The dam was able to be drained so that fire crews could rescue the trapped man. Photo / Fire & Rescue 295 Forster
The dam was able to be drained so that fire crews could rescue the trapped man. Photo / Fire & Rescue 295 Forster

"I believe he was there for two hours before his neighbours heard his calls for help."

Chief Inspector Neil Stephens said Miller was extremely lucky to survive.

"Only a part of his nose and face was above water," he told Nine news.

Steve Howard, from Fire and Rescue NSW, said it was Miller's willpower that helped him survive.

"I don't know how he's done it, obviously it was his willpower to live," he told Nine news.

Miller screamed for help between breaths.

The man was pinned by the excavator. Photo / Fire and Rescue 295
The man was pinned by the excavator. Photo / Fire and Rescue 295

A neighbour who heard his cries alerted emergency services around 2.40pm.

The Rural Fire Service pumped out water from the dam so the driver could be released.

"It was a small dam so they could lower the water level, thank God," Nickisson said.

A NSW Ambulance spokesman told news.com.au the man was treated for back pain and hypothermia.

"He sustained minor injuries," the spokesman said.

The driver was transported to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle where remains in a stable condition.

- news.com.au

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