A bystander attempted CPR on a man who had a heart attack after he fell off his jetski in Waihi.

Helicopter paramedic Stefan Gabor said the 55-year-old man was jetskiing off Waihi beach when he did a tight turn and fell off. But it wasn't until he got to shore that he started to feel unwell.

"He laughed about it, joked about it with his family and then he collapsed and had a cardiac arrest."

Fortunately he had a great team around him, Gabor said. A bystander started CPR immediately while the lifeguards, ambulance and local fire service rushed to the rescue. The man was shocked using a defibrillator and they managed to get his heart started again. Gabor believed the early efforts of local services and bystanders saved his life.


"It was a really good combined effort from the local services there."

Gabor said when the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived the man had classic symptoms of having had a heart attack like lowered consciousness and acting irritable and combative. He was flown to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition with his wife on board.

"When we got there we had our hands full. It was a bit of a chaotic, busy scene.

"His wife was obviously upset."

The man is now stable.