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Swimmer Sucked Into Pipe, Spat Out


A Sydney author miraculously survived being sucked through a drainage pipe at a beachside public swimming pool and spat out on a beach, The Sun Herald reported Sunday.

Allan Baillie, 67, and his wife were swimming at Bilgola Beach rock pool Monday when a council worker -- who had opened a valve to drain the pool for cleaning -- started to gesture at him.

''As I swam closer to hear what he was saying, I suddenly felt this pressure, this incredible pull,'' Baillie said.

''In an instant I was then sucked feet first inside the pipe. I instinctively thought 'I'll never survive this -- there'll be something clogging the end' but in a matter of seconds I found myself dumped on the beach.''

Pittwater lifeguards who rushed to help him said they found ''a man lying beside the outlet pipe with blood absolutely everywhere.”

Supervisor Phil Dunn said he was astonished when he realized Baillie had been sucked through the pipe which is attached to the eight lane, 165-ft (50m) concrete public pool at the southern end of Bilgola Beach, north of Sydney.

It was ''a clear breakdown in procedure and one you'd automatically imagine to be fatal,” Dunn said.

“The circumference of the pipe is smaller than Mr Baillie's body but fortunately the sheer pressure has seen him pop straight out like a wine cork.''

Pittwater Council has accepted responsibility for the incident, saying it was “very lucky” Baillie was not killed.

The author -- who has received numerous Australian awards for his children’s books -- suffered abrasions and cuts all over his body and plans to seek compensation.

Rock pools, outdoor swimming pools filled with seawater, are common at New South Wales beaches.

Fox 5
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