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Tuesday 7 February 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# survivor
Australian man miraculously escapes after holding his head barely above water... for five hours
45-year-old Daniel Miller escaped with his life after the excavator he was driving pinned him almost beneath the surface of a waterlogged dam for five hours.

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AN AUSTRALIAN MAN has had a lucky escape after a digger he was driving overturned and rolled into a muddy dam.

45-year-old Daniel Miller was trapped after the mechanical tracks of the excavator he was driving shifted unexpectedly forcing both him and the machine into the water.

Miller had been tending to plants on his Charlotte Bay, New South Wales, property when the accident occurred, just after 2.30pm Australian time on Tuesday afternoon.

Subsequently, the roll-bar from the vehicle pinned him beneath the surface of the water as he tried to make his escape.

He remained in that position, with his head barely above the surface of the water, for five hours.

“I didn’t have time to jump clear so I kind of rode the machine down hoping I would be alright. I hit the water and went under. The next thing I feel is the roll bar come across my back, the dam was very soft, very muddy,” he told Australian station 9News.

“I thought I have to get the surface, so I pushed my arms up into the mud and grabbed a mouthful of air.

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The first thing I thought is ‘I told (my wife) I wouldn’t die first’.

Miller, who is married with young children, said he went “into an almost robotic state and thought ‘just count to 60, move my arms, readjust’”.

Just try and be calm, be logical. Like I watched a cricket climb across a piece of grass for two hours.
I was thinking about how my family is going to find me face down in the dam dead on my property, so that wasn’t going to happen – not without a fight.

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Finally, Miller’s cries for help brought a neighbour to his assistance, and emergency services were duly able to dig him out.

He survived, miraculously, with only minor back injuries and a case of hypothermia.

His wife, Saimaa, doesn’t see his survival as a coincidence though.

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“It was literally sheer mental strength and determination to survive that got him through,” she said in a Facebook post.

As well as being fit, strong and healthy. Nothing to do with luck. Legendary effort from a legendary man.

Read: Supermacs are hiring… someone to taste their chicken sandwiches

Read: Driver thinks he’s being stopped for speeding – has cat stuck in engine grille

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