Internet rescues clergyman

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The Independent Online
A British clergyman who collapsed at his computer while logged onto the Internet was saved by a transatlantic call from an American cybersurfer.

The Rev Ken Walker was found slumped unconscious over his keyboard after local police were called by their counterparts in the United States.

Mr Walker, 38, of Arbroath, Tayside, was researching the history of Scottish emigrants and their descendants in the US using the Compuserve network.

Richard Eastman, the American co-ordinator of the service, which has 20,000 users worldwide, realised something was wrong when he saw Mr Walker's typing become erratic and then stop completely. He contacted police in Boston, Massachusetts, who passed the message to Tayside Police.

Mr Walker, who suffers from a medical condition which causes blackouts, was released from hospital last night. He said: "I was communicating with about 10 people on the system when I passed out."