Call for shark packs at beaches
SHARK culling opponent Sea Shepherd wants medical packs with tourniquets to treat shark attack victims at surf breaks after surfer Ben Gerring (29) lost a leg – and ultimately his life – to a shark at Falcon last week.
“That is going to save lives, because every second is precious,” Sea Shepherd managing director Jeff Hansen said.
It was reported a surfer ran to get a roof rack strap to tie a tourniquet around Mr Gerring’s leg after he was brought ashore.
Mr Hansen said surfers in isolated areas should also be designated to send out shark warnings to their mates by text and there should be greater education about events that attract sharks, including Australian salmon schools reported near Falcon during annual migration that has boomed since the end of commercial netting of the fish.
“Last year, 1209 people died on Australian roads and on average, five to 10 people die from shark attacks worldwide, so it is clear given the number of people who enter the sea we are not on the menu, we’re just something that gets in the way of sharks,” Mr Hansen said.
He was sceptical a 4.2m great white shark caught by Fisheries at Falcon three days ago was the same animal in the attack.
Surf Lifesaving WA spokesman Chris Peck said medical packs were a good idea that had been discussed after a shark attack at Gracetown, but issues of access, security of the packs contents and vandalism had to be solved.
“We would encourage surfers to have kits in their cars, in their board bags, and to get medical and first aid training,” Mr Peck said.
He said a culture of personal safety should include surfers’ own social media and mobile phone information networks about shark threats, checking the State Government SharkSmart website and being familiar annual events like the salmon run that attract sharks.