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Shark bite night in Margs

Hopefully, this date marked the start of a new era of collaboration between West Wetsuits, the Surfing Doctors and Calm As…First Aid.

It was the first time that Calm As founder Dr Jon Cohen, and his long-time friend and colleague Dr Phil Chapman (founder of the Surfing Doctors) had the chance to bring their knowledge of haemorrhage control and shark bite management to non-medically trained members of the local surfing community.

The event was kindly hosted by John Dutts and Nathan Rose at the Factory in Margaret River, with food, drink and publicity provided by Mitch Thorson and the rest of the team at West Wetsuits.

Despite being thrown together at the last minute to coincide with an impromptu trip to the southwest, Mitch, Dutts and Rosey managed to get the word out their to their core local crew and about 30 people showed up to have a go at stopping the blood gush from the model amputated leg Jon brought over from Sydney.

The mood was kept pretty light considering the heavy topics under discussion. Pretty much everyone in attendance had at least one “story”, or near encounter. For the most part, people who wanted to talk could share their stories, and people who didn’t really feel like speaking up could just take it all in.

Some of the principles in the lecture given by Drs Cohen and Chapman had been shared at Surfing Doctors, BWRAG and Stop the Bleed hospital lectures given previously, but others were really specific for the situation down in Margs. This is where the public forum of these events really shines – a lot of people love to learn and experience through screens, but being at a small event, sharing stories with your local crew transcends simple knowledge sharing. It creates communities of people with knowledge, tools and mindset to act when things go wrong.

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