Training & Quick thinking saves a life

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Jeffrey Eiley uses emergency response skills to revive snorkeler

All too often, The San Pedro Sun reports on incidents that don’t have a happy ending. When it seems that we’re barraged with bad news from all angles, the story of a heroic effort to save a life certainly should make the front page. Such is the case with our very own local tour guide Jeffrey Eiley.

On Tuesday August 2nd, Captain Norman Eiley and his son (and licensed tour guide) Jeffrey, boarded The Goliath, a vessel belonging to Trec. Owned by Mr. Kenneth Mattes, Trec is an educational business that takes international students to conduct marine biology studies on the nearby Barrier Reef. That morning, a group of eight students and professors boarded the boat, along with Mattes for what was supposed to be a fun day of snorkeling.

As the group was small, Mr. Mattes opted to lead the group, leaving Jeffrey and Norman on board. About 20 minutes into the snorkel, Norman said he heard a shout for help. He observed the students hauling an individual to the boat. Jeffrey, who had been in the cabin doing some work, dropped everything and jumped into the water, mustering the strength to aid another student in pushing the ailing professor (who was well over 200 pounds) into the boat.

The professor’s health was observed to be rapidly declining. His complexion was already turning, and he was not breathing. Jeffrey and the student began to perform Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to the individual. After several attempts, the gentleman was revived.

Thanks to the fast thinking and heroic efforts of both individuals, the gentleman was stabilized and rushed onshore. At the municipal pier, a truck was waiting to rush the patient to Dr. Daniel Gonzalez, where he was further stabilized and later flown to Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for further observation. According to Dr. Gonzalez, the professor suffered from a heart attack. While he was reported to be in good health by the afternoon of the same day, he remained overnight for further observation and medication.

A big kudos to Jeffrey and everyone who assisted in resuscitating the gentleman! It is always wonderful to see the good results of training and being prepared.

For those who would like to be able to provide assistance in times of emergency, there are training seminars held throughout the year that provide the skills necessary to react quickly as Eiley did. Below is information for an upcoming training session:


BTIA offers First Aid & CPR Training

The San Pedro Belize Tourism Industry Association (BTIA) is offering a one day course in first aid and Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on Saturday, August 13th and Sunday, August 14th.

Cost: $25 per person for BTIA members. $75 for non-BTIA members.
Location: Exotic Caye Beach Resort
Time: 8am to 4pm with one hour lunch break at noon
Who: Open to everyone, including hotel and restaurant staff, tour guides, taxi drivers, etc. Maximum: 24 participants per day.
Why: Participants will receive certified First-Aid training and CPR training certified by the American Heart Association
How to sign up: Participants can e-mail Mukul Kanabar at [email protected] or call 226-2231 to sign up.

Anyone wanting to become a BTIA member can also contact Mr. Kanabar. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis until all 48 spots are filled.


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