Detective Inspector Jason Smith in Shang Park. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
Detective Inspector Jason Smith in Shang Park. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

‘I found him there’: Footy ref’s brave attempt to save boy

A LOCAL football referee with basic first aid training has told of the moment he realised he was the only person who could try to save a young 12-year-old boy unconscious in a park.

George Sailor, who is normally the voice of calm in the middle of a Cairns District Rugby League field, was at his home near Shang Park in Mooroobool last night when he said he saw a fight break out and a young boy collapse unconscious onto the basketball court.

He sprinted over and realised he had to act.

 

A 12-year-old boy died on Thursday evening in Shang Park after being involved in an alleged altercation with other youths. George Sailor witnessed the incident and gave the boy CPR. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A 12-year-old boy died on Thursday evening in Shang Park after being involved in an alleged altercation with other youths. George Sailor witnessed the incident and gave the boy CPR. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

"I blanked for about five seconds then realised I was the first on scene, I was the only adult on scene," Mr Sailor said.

"They just had a bit of a scuffle. I found him lying down.

"I thought he would get back up but that never happened.

"It's going to be always in my head now."

 

A 12-year-old boy died on Thursday evening in Shang Park after being involved in an altercation with other youths. The basketball half court where the incident occurred. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A 12-year-old boy died on Thursday evening in Shang Park after being involved in an altercation with other youths. The basketball half court where the incident occurred. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

 

Mr Sailor began doing CPR and believed he worked alone to try to revive the young boy for about 10 minutes before paramedics arrived.

The boy later died at Cairns Hospital and police are investigating the death.

Mr Sailor and his family returned to the park today to lay the first bouquet of flowers after the tragedy.

"I was the first here and I tried to help out," he said.

"I thought I could be the first to leave a memory for the families to follow."

Originally published as 'I found him lying there': Footy ref's brave attempt to save boy


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