A teacher who stopped breathing for five minutes after being pulled unconscious from an east London pool has spoken of his debt to the lifeguards who brought him back to life.
Ed Bray, 35, had been trying to complete two underwater lengths of the 25-metre pool at Clissold Leisure Centre, Hackney, without coming up for air – something he had seen on TV.
“The first time I saw someone hyperventilate was on TFI Friday,” he told the Standard. “They had a free diver on the show who used the technique to hold her breath under water for four minutes. I was impressed so I started using it myself.”
But Mr Bray, who admits not having researched the technique properly, began suffering hypoxia – a lack of oxygen in the blood – and passed out, hitting his head on the pool floor and biting his tongue.
“I was under the misapprehension it increases your oxygen level,” Mr Bray said of the technique, “when actually it lowers your carbon dioxide level.”