Terrifying day tees off new friendship

A keen golfer says he is lucky to be alive thanks to the life-saving efforts of a former Honiton police officer.

A Seaton pensioner’s terrifying day on the golf course, which could have ended in tradegy, has led to a new friendship being formed instead.

Keen golfer Basil Dean, 69, says he is lucky to be alive thanks to the heroic efforts of former police officer, Ian Atyeo, of Honiton, who helped to save his life when his heart stopped at Honiton Golf Club.

“I was very lucky Ian was around,” he says. “If he had not have been there I don’t think I would be here.”

The pair met up following the incident, which happened in July 2011, and have been friends ever since - and often play golf together.

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Mr Atyeo recently received a resuscitation certificate from the Royal Humane Society for his heroic actions.

Recalling what happened that day, he said: “We had been standing there for quite a long time – I thought they were asking for a ruling and was just about to ask them to get a move on.”

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He told the Herald that he thought he saw Mr Dean being struck by someone and, after witnessing the commotion, ran over to the golf buggy.

After realising Mr Dean was not breathing, he started performing CPR, and was assisted by his friend Darren McCabe. He continued to help after paramedics arrived at the scene.

Mr Dean was later airlifted to hospital and was not expected to make it through the night. However, after being fitted with a cardioverter defibulator he is now fighting fit and back on the golf course.

He is soon to become the new captain at Axe Cliff Golf Club.

He added: “It is great to be back playing golf and to be able to play golf with Ian.

“I am so grateful to him and always will be. First aid is vital and does save lives.”

Mr Dean also thanked the paramedics, air ambulance and NHS staff at the intensive care cardiac ward at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

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