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Bachelor Party Game Goes Wrong When Man Drowns During Breath-Holding Contest

A group of men went to a lake in Georgia for a bachelor party, and were cooling off in the water and having fun. The men began having contests of who could hold his breath underwater the longest. It was all in good fun, but things took a terrible turn when one man did not emerge. By the time his friends found him, he was dead.

Robert Bunsa, a 23-year-old man from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, died by drowning on Saturday night at his friend's bachelor's party. The party was meant to be low-key and relaxed in a natural setting: Lake Sinclair in Georgia. Approximately 15 guests had gathered for the event, which included swimming in the lake.

At some point, men in the water began challenging each other to see who could hold his breath the longest. Bunsa went down under the water to compete.

According to one party goer, James Walker, the other men didn't realize that Bunsa hadn't come up. They went into the house, thinking he had already gotten out and gone ahead of them.

When they arrived in the house, they looked for the missing man. When they realized Bunsa wasn't in the house, they knew something went wrong in the water and rushed back to the lake to find him. By then it had been about seven minutes since the men left the water, a dangerous amount of time for someone to spend underwater.

The lake was only 5 to 10 feet deep, but the water visibility was only about a foot. They began searching and called for help. Bunsa's body was discovered by one of his friends not far from the dock.

A law enforcement officer who was close rushed to the scene and performed CPR on Bunsa for 10 to 15 minutes, until paramedics arrived. They were planning to air-lift Bunsa to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead at the scene of the drowning.

“Upon the arrival of the air evac, the decision was made to cease resuscitation efforts,” Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Benjamin Forbus, who filed the incident report.

“According to the report, he was trying to see how long he could hold his breath,” confirmed Baldwin County sheriff’s Capt. Brad King.

“He was missing for some time — over seven minutes, at least, before they realized, and one of the friends did dive down and pull him out,” said Cpl. Lynn Stanford.

Bunsen might have suffered from 'shallow water blackout', known medically as hypoxic blackout. This happens when one is hyperventilating while swimming or when one holds one's breath for too long.

Oxygen metabolizes and carbon dioxide levels increase, starving the brain of oxygen, which can cause the swimmer to black out. Once unconscious, the body attempts to breathe, which causes the lungs to fill with water. Death from drowning or cardiac arrest will follow quickly if the swimmer isn't rescued and resuscitated quickly.

Holding one’s breath underwater is a common game that most kids play at one time or another, but it could be dangerous. Centers for Disease Control warns people from trying to hold their breath for long periods of time under water. “Respect the water,” said Stanford. “It can go wrong so quickly.”

Source: DailyMail
Photos: Google Earth, Flickr/Kim Siever, ollie harridge, Dave Herholz

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