Diver airlifted to Canberra in induced coma: PHOTOS AND VIDEO

A 24-year-old Victorian man, who became unconscious while free diving near Leonards Island, has been placed in an induced coma before being airlifted to Canberra Hospital.

Speaking to the Magnet, Sergeant Scott Blanch of Eden Police said the man and his partner were in Eden for a spearfishing tournament this weekend, when the free diver got into difficulties.

“The other person found the diver on the bottom, unresponsive, and commenced CPR," he said.

“Eden Water Police then attended, and took over further first aid, while conveying him to the skinny wharf at Snug Cove.

“There he was met by ambulance paramedics, who continued first aid.

“He was then transported to the Eden football ground and placed in the care of a doctor from Canberra, who arrived on board the SouthCare helicopter.

“He was placed into an induced coma, and taken to Canberra Hospital by helicopter shortly afterwards.

The patient is transported to Canberra Hospital by helicopter. Video: Blake Foden

“CPR was in progress for about 20 minutes.

“The man was diving to a depth of 12 metres.

“He will remain in an induced coma until he arrives at the hospital.

"Then he will be brought out of it, and his condition, including the amount of saltwater in his lungs, checked.”

Sergeant Blanch went on to issue a warning to other competitors in the weekend’s spear fishing competition.

“This weekend there is a large spear fishing competition in Eden.

“That’s what this gentleman was here for.

“We urge everyone taking part to be cautious.”