A surfer found face-down in the sea after he blacked out has told rescuers: “Thank you for saving my life.”
Jonathan Davies was surfing at Porthtowan in Cornwall on 25 May when he mysteriously became unconscious.
Surfers spotted him floating in the water and dragged him on to the beach where they fought to revive him before he was airlifted to hospital.
“I simply wouldn’t be here today without those people,” he said, the day after he was allowed home.
Steve England, editor of Carve surfing magazine, said: “My son Alfie spotted him lying in the water.
“We knew what we had to do, the alarm was raised and we paddled across real quick.”
A former lifeguard, Mr England said they had to act quickly as Mr Davies was floating in big waves.
“We took four of five waves on the head before we got him to shore,” he said.
“We realised he needed a breath into him so we gave him CPR and got him into a secure position.
“It was amazing teamwork all round from the surfers in the water, to the people on the beach who called the coastguard helicopter.
“There was no panic, there was just quiet determination.”
Using Zoom to speak to Mr England for the first time since the rescue, web developer Mr Davies said: “It’s good to see your face Steve mate.
“I cannot remember a single thing about the day. I think my brain has wiped it.
“From what people have told me it was a beautiful bank holiday, the surf report was exceptional.”
The experienced surfer knew the area and was “well within” his “comfort zone”.
“What happened next I have no idea and I still don’t,” Mr Davies explained.
“I’ve had the complete body MoT in hospital and there’s nothing wrong, so what happened on the day I don’t know.
“Maybe I was surfing with my mouth open and got tumbled over the falls.”
In hospital, his family did not know if he was going to pull through until the following day.
He has drawn up a long list of those who helped him including the “amazing” hospital staff.
He said: “Without those people I simply wouldn’t be here today.
“It’s quite an emotional thing as you can imagine.
“They’ve given me another 40 or 50 years being on this planet with my family and there’s not really much more you can say about that.”
He said: “I will be much more conscious of surfing with other people, I’ll be taking it slowly.
“Surfing is generally safe sport but accidents do happen.”
He added: “I am really looking forward to throwing a banging post-Covid party.
“It’s going to be an expensive few rounds.”