PARAMEDICS tried to carry out life-saving treatment on a man found floating face-down in a lake, The News can reveal.
South Central Ambulance Service said it tried to resuscitate Simon Burgess for around 20 minutes after he was pulled out of the boating lake in Walpole Park last Thursday.
After carrying out CPR and giving him drugs at the scene, ambulance staff rushed Mr Burgess to hospital while continuing treatment.
The statement demonstrated paramedics’ belief there was a chance of survival despite him being left in the water for around 25 minutes.
It contradicts a statement from the fire service which said it was dealing with the incident as a body retrieval.
Ambulance spokesman James Keating-Wilkes said: ‘The patient had been submerged for around 25 minutes.
‘He had gone into cardiac arrest and was given treatment at the scene.
‘This was continued by the crew on the way to hospital.’
The service could not confirm whether Mr Burgess had a pulse after he was removed from the lake but paramedics were unable to secure his airway.
The ambulance arrived at Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, at 1.28pm.
Mr Burgess had not been pronounced dead by paramedics by this time.
Gill Hughes, the 53-year-old who dialled 999 after she spotted Mr Burgess in the lake, said it is evidence Mr Burgess might have been alive when he was pulled from the water.
She said: ‘If he was pronounced dead at the scene, you wouldn’t have given him drugs and tried to resuscitate him.
‘How did they know he was dead? They could have gone in sooner and maybe he would be alive.
‘I said to them he could still be alive but they didn’t go in. I didn’t expect him to be left in the water.
‘I couldn’t go in there because I was with my two-year-old grandson.’
Firefighters from Gosport were the first to arrive at the scene but decided there were no visible signs of life.
They waited for a specialist water rescue unit from Fareham to enter the water.