Surfing Western Australia has more tools to mitigate shark attacks

November 12, 2018 | Surfing
Western Australia: shark attack prevention in the surf is a top priority | Photo: Surfing Western Australia

Surfing Western Australia teamed up with the Government of Western Australia to promote shark mitigation strategies in the state and help surfers keep safe in the waves.

The Australian surfing organization will receive funding for water safety equipment, including drones and a jet ski for surveillance at competitions and other events.

The state authorities will also fund the Surfers Rescue 365 program for the next three years, delivering free, three-hour first aid training and live-saving skills specifically designed for surfers.

The goal is to arm surfers with skills to respond to emergencies, in case of shark attacks. The course consists of board rescue, basic first aid and Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

"We have an amazing, vast and sometimes remote coastline with some of the best surfing waves in the world. Our beaches are extremely popular, and surfers are often the first on the scene when emergency situations arise in the ocean," notes Mark Lane, CEO of Surfing Australia.

"The free, comprehensive training sessions will reach more surfers across Western Australia and make our coastline a safe place to enjoy."

The new measures to minimize shark encounters and shark attacks include a scientific advisory panel on sharks, the SharkSmart app, a whale carcass management plan, and a new shark activity website.

The Western Australian Government is already running a series of measures to spot shark movements and mitigate attacks.

They include drone patrols, beach helicopters, personal shark deterrents, beach enclosures, tagging operations, monitoring networks, and a drum line trial.

The odds of being attacked by a shark are low. Nevertheless, learn more about shark attacks in the surf, take precautions and make wise decisions.