Australian Man, Trapped For Hours In A Dam, Kept His Nose Just Above The Water

His survival 'had nothing to do with luck'

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An Australian man has been praised for his will to live after he spent hours struggling to keep his nose and forehead above water when his digger rolled into a dam.

Daniel Miller, a 45-year-old farmer, was trapped by the roll bar of his three-tonne excavator when it slid into the water on his property on the New South Wales coast, the BBC reports.

Miller, a father of two, said he managed to arch his back into a yoga position which kept his head centimetres above the waterline and allowed him to cry for help until his neighbour heard him.

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"I was trapped and had to keep my head up above water using my arms, I guess it was the cobra position," he told Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

"I'm not a yogi but I guess you could say yoga saved my life. That and the will to live; I promised my wife when we got married I wouldn't die before her.

"I wanted to honour my vows — the whole time I was trapped I kept thinking of her and my two young children."

Miller's wife Saimaa reports that he was trapped in the dam for five hours, but in a message shared on her Facebook page, she said her husband's survival had "nothing to do with luck".

"It was literally sheer mental strength and determination to survive that got him through," Saimaa Miller wrote after the ordeal on Wednesday. "As well as being fit, strong and healthy. Nothing to do with luck. Legendary effort from a legendary man."

Once the emergency services were called, firefighters drained the mud and water before they waded in to free the farmer. He was reportedly airlifted to hospital where he was treated for hypothermia and minor back injuries. Police told Nine News that he was "extremely lucky to survive".