Blackout blamed for Lollback death

Jacob Lollback.
Jacob Lollback. Daily Examiner

GRAFTON'S Lollback family plans to begin an awareness campaign about the dangers of shallow water blackout after learning it was responsible for the death of Jacob Lollback in a diving accident last Tuesday.

Eric Lollback, Jacob's father, said the autopsy showed that Jacob had blacked out during a free dive while spear fishing about 75km off Gladstone.

“Everything went against him,” Mr Lollback said. “Normally he would be diving with mates who were aware of the dangers.

“Unfortunately, the couple with him this time thought he was so good at what he was doing, there was nothing to worry about.”

Mr Lollback explained that shallow water blackouts occurred when divers get close to the surface after a dive. As the water pressure decreased on the lungs, they expanded and sucked oxygen from the blood. If the diver was sufficiently oxygen depleted this would trigger a blackout, often leading to drowning.

The autopsy concluded this is what happened to Jacob.

“We want to do something to lift the profile of shallow water blackout,” Mr Lollback said.

“Charter boat operators should have an overseer on the boat checking on divers as they return to the surface.”

Jacob's funeral at Christ Church Cathedral tomorrow promises to attract a huge crowd.

Mr Lollback said marquees would be erected outside the church and a public address system installed to ensure everyone could hear the service.

A wake will be held at the Grafton District Services Club following the service.

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