Speared diver in critical condition

Published Dec 23, 2005


By Fouzia van der Fort

A diver is in intensive care at the University of Cape Town private hospital after accidentally shooting himself in the chest with a speargun.

Late on Thursday Judian Bruk, 33, of Marina da Gama, had an emergency operation to remove the spear lodged 10cm deep in the right-hand side of his chest.

The accident happened as Bruk emerged from the surf at Cape Point with the 1,5m gun in his hand. The spear dislodged and hit him in the chest.

Gary McCormick, a manager for the South African Red Cross Air Mercy Service helicopter, which flew Bruk to Groote Schuur, said the spear had just missed vital organs.

"He is a very lucky man," he said.

Before paramedics could move Bruk, the spear had to be sawed down to reduce the pressure forcing the tip into his body.

The NSRI Simon's Town unit, Cape Medical Response paramedics, police and Netcare 911 responded to the call at about 2.30pm on Thursday.

Dr Belinda Jacobs, medical superintendent at Groote Schuur Hospital, said at about 8pm that Bruk was in critical condition.

He was later transferred to the UCT private hospital, where he is in intensive care.

His family declined comment.

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