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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Point Pleasant surfer saves Bay Head man using CPR

Written by Keith Ruscitti | Staff Writer

POINT PLEASANT — It was 28 years ago when Jeff Beverly took a cardiopulmonary resuscitation class.

Beverly signed up for the session months after witnessing his wife, Robin, suffer through a serious asthma attack, a situation which caught him off-guard and unprepared.

“I was in shock, I didn’t know CPR or anything,’’ said Beverly, 54. “I felt totally helpless.’’

Today, Bay Head resident David Turberfield is alive and recovering because of Beverly’s use of the resuscitation procedure. It was the first time the Point Pleasant resident has used the procedure.

During a surfing session off the Harris Street beach in Bay Head late in the afternoon on Oct. 17, Beverly observed Turberfield face down in the water to the south side of a jetty.

“At first, I thought it was one of my buddies playing a joke,’’ said Beverly. “Then I turned him over and he was gone.’’

An unconscious Turberfield, 47, was dressed in a full wet suit, according to the Bay Head police report, and Beverly said he spotted a board in the surf. Beverly carried the body to the shore line and then applied CPR.

“I was screaming for help and then just started with the chest compressions - pounding his chest really hard,’’ said Beverly.

At this time other surfers went to contact local police while Beverly tried to bring Turberfield back to life.

A few minutes later, Beverly said foam started coming through the drowning victim’s lips. Beverly gave him two more blasts of air through the mouth. Turberfield soon began coughing.

When Bay Head Patrolman Todd LaRue arrived, he observed Turberfield spit up saltwater. Turberfield had abrasions on the right side of his forehead, apparently from a spill he had taken in the surf a few moments earlier.

Eventually, Turberfield finally began breathing.

“When the police came he was finally breathing on his own we had him sitting up,’’ said Beverly, a surfer of 40 years. “First thing I said to him was ‘pal, you owe me a beer.’ ’’

The Point Pleasant First Aid Squad arrived along with paramedics to transport Turberfield to Ocean Medical Center in Brick. He’s recovering still and unwilling to talk about the traumatic experience, something Beverly understands .

“I mean he was every color but alive for 15 minutes,’’ said Beverly. “It was a gruesome act to go through. Luckily, (David) was in good shape.’’

Since then, family, friends and those in the community are celebrating Beverly’s heroism.

Point Pleasant Borough Mayor William Schroeder honored him with a certificate of appreciation on Tuesday night at the council meeting.

“I’m really not into all the hoopla,’’ said Beverly. “I just tried to save a man’s life.’’