Man survives two hours underwater in excavator ordeal
The incredible will to live of a man trapped for more than two hours in a dam has been credited for his survival.
Daniel Miller, 45, was trapped by the roll bar of his excavator when it slid into the dam on his property at Charlotte Bay, near Forster, on the mid north coast at 2.30pm on Wednesday.
Mr Miller managed to arch his back to bob his head above the waterline and cry for help sporadically during the ordeal.
Luckily, a neighbour 500m away heard him and alerted emergency services.
A delicate rescue operation involving NSW Fire and Rescue and the Rural Fire Service managed to extricate Mr Miller and the dam was drained as hydraulic equipment was used to free him.
A firefighter jumped into the water to help Mr Miller while his colleagues used a range of rescue equipment and techniques to steady the excavator.
Mr Miller was rushed to John Hunter Hospital, in Newcastle, where he remains in a stable condition.
Foster NSW Fire and Rescue Captain Paul Langley said Mr Miller would not have lasted much longer if help had not arrived.
"He is a very lucky person. The guy's face is all that was sticking out of the water," he said.
"He was pretty stressed and had taken in a lot of water."
Forster Deputy Captain Steve Howard said he was amazed Mr Miller survived for two hours.
"How he kept his back arched with is nose above the waterline was quite incredible for that amount of time. I don't know how he has done it but obviously the will power to live," he told Channel 9.