While far less common than movies like Jaws would have us believe, the reality is shark attacks do happen. Most Australians accept the inherent risks of ocean swimming or surfing: you’re essentially venturing into the shark’s natural habitat – particularly in areas unmanned by lifesavers, at dusk or when the water is murky.
We don’t need to tell you these are extremely dangerous animals. Three people die from shark attacks on average in Australia each year, according to SBS*.
But what if it happened to you or someone you were with? Would you know what to do? Is there anything you could do? It turns out that yes, there are First Aid measures you can take to increase the victim’s chance of survival.
After losing his friend, Geoffrey Brazier, to a shark attack in 2005, WA filmmaker Ryan Chatfield was shocked by a separate fatal incident that occurred in May 2016. Friends of Mr Chatfield’s were on the scene when surfer Ben Gerring was attacked off Mandurah in WA and tried in vain to perform CPR on him. The incident highlighted the importance of first aid knowledge – even (and especially) in such traumatic circumstances.
Making sense of tragedy striking twice
There were two reasons why it was impossible for Mr Chatfield to save Mr Brazier in 2005: his fear and panic during the incident and his lack of First Aid knowledge.
These tragic experiences inspired him to create an educational video about what you can do in the vital moments after a shark attack, including how to minimise blood loss and the safest way to transport the victim back to shore. So far, the video has been viewed over 100,000 times. You can watch it here: https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/wa/a/33099681/shark-attacks-inspires-ryan-chatfield-to-make-life-saving-video/#page1
Useful First Aid courses
Here at Australia Wide First Aid, we provide a range of courses that educate our clients about the most important first aid procedures. These include:
Please select your location and course