Australian man trapped in dam with just nose above water

Sun Online Desk

9th February, 2017 10:46:59 printer

Australian man trapped in dam with just nose above water

A man has spent two excruciating hours struggling to keep his nose above the water after becoming trapped in his backyard dam, pinned underwater by the roll bar of his three-tonne mini excavator.


Daniel Miller, 45, had been riding the machine at his remote property 300km (180 miles) north of Sydney.


When an embankment gave way, the farmer was pinned down by a bar on the three-tonne excavator.


Mr Miller became trapped under the machine’s roll bar for two hours and, although he was standing, he spent those two hours constantly fighting to keep his nostrils above the waterline.


His shouts were eventually heard 500m away by a neighbour, who sought help.


Rescue crews said the ordeal on Tuesday lasted two hours, but Mr Miller's wife, Saimaa, wrote on Facebook it was five hours.


"Only just a part of his face was above the water, just his nose and his forehead was above the water," police chief inspector Neil Stephens told Nine News.


"He's been extremely lucky to survive."


Firefighters drained some mud and water then waded into the dam to free Mr Miller.


"How he kept his back arched with his nose above the waterline was quite incredible for that amount of time," said Fire and Rescue New South Wales deputy captain Steve Howard.


"I don't know how he has done it but it's obviously the strong will to live."


Mr Miller was taken by helicopter to a hospital in the nearby city of Newcastle, where he was treated for hypothermia and minor back injuries.


"Dan is ok!" Ms Miller wrote online.


"He was trapped... with only his nose and forehead out of the water, with the weight of his excavator on his back, and with the boggy dam ground below him slowly slipping away.


"It was literally sheer mental strength and determination to survive that got him through. As well as being fit, strong and healthy. Nothing to do with luck.


"Legendary effort from a legendary man."