Seconds could be the difference between life and death if you fall victim to a shark attack.
That’s the thinking that led a paramedic and keen surfer living on the New South Wales north coast to develop a first-aid kit compiled specifically to deal with shark attacks.
Alstonville man Craig Nolan told the Northern Star the pack is "simple, not complicated" and inspired by a recent spate of man-eater attacks around the Ballina and Lennox Head area on the NSW north coast.
The Shark Attack First Aid Treatment Pack is designed to address a life-threatening haemorrhage that could lead to in death in minutes.
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"The idea is how to keep yourself alive until the ambulance arrives," Mr Nolan told newspaper about the kit designed to be used by a shark attack victim themselves if need be.
It includes a Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT) to fasten off blood flow, two heavy-duty emergency bandages – sometimes called Israeli bandages – used to stop haemorrhaging, gloves and a pair of paramedic shears to cut away wetsuits.
Mr Nolan said training to use the items is vital and offers sessions for individuals and groups, in person or over Skype.
Although he had mulled the idea over for several months before creating it, the paramedic said it was already getting attention from as far afield as California in the US.
There have been several shark attacks on the northern NSW coast, including a number of fatal encounters, leading some to call it the “shark attack capital of Australia”.
In August last year, Sea Shepherd Australia helped to install an Acute Shark Attack Pack (ASAP) at Wategos Beach, east of Byron Bay.