Surfing ER doctor slams reports in The Guardian and on ABC of a “brilliant, life-saving treatment”, better than tourniquets, for Great White attack, “It’s total bullshit…and it’s also unrealistic!”

Bottom line, if you surf in Australian waters, get a tourniquet leash.

Yesterday, The Guardian and the ABC, reasonably reputable news sources despite their leftist skew, reported on a “brilliant, life-saving treatment” for catastrophic shark attacks, ie Great White hits, something increasingly common in Australian waters.

The stories, “Doctor’s ‘brilliant’ new first aid technique can stem blood loss after shark attack” (The Guardian) and “Simple first-aid technique could save lives of shark attack victims according to researchers” (ABC), came after a paper published in the journal of Emergency Medicine Australasia describing a technique to stem the bleeding of a Great White hit by making a fist and pressing hard into the groin, between hip bone and genitals.

The lead author of the paper, Dr Nicholas Taylor, Associate Dean of the ANU Medical School, a surfer, said he got the idea after a vacay to Western Australia around the time of a series of Great White attacks. 

“I was looking for a few ways to make myself a bit more shark proof,” Taylor told The Guardian. 

“After speaking to surf life savers and surfers he found most would instinctually react to a shark bite wound by placing direct pressure on it or attempting to make a tourniquet from material they had on hand.”

Taylor now wants signs like this, below, at beaches detailing the technique, which can be memorised with the mnemonic “Push hard between the hip and the bits”. 

All pretty logical, yeah? 

Well, the reports drove Dr Jon Cohen, head of Taree’s Manning Base Hospital, a short-ish ambulance drive from Tuncurry where Mark Sanguinetti was mauled to death by a Great White in May, wild. 

As soon as it appeared he texted me the ABC story with the message, “Really misleading article. Happy to call bullshit.” 

Who don’t like a little bullshit calling? 

What pissed Jon off was the study’s field test where the technique was supposedly proven to be vastly superior to tourniquets.

“That’s totally false, completely false. There’s a reason military carry tourniquets,” he says. 

It wasn’t that long ago that Jon was working at the working in the emergency department of Esperance Hospital, the same joint where seventeen-year-old surfer Laeticia Brouwer was brought in and where she died in 2017 after being hit by a White. 

He had the same epiphany as Doc Taylor, as in, how could he use his expertise to solve the problem of preventable shark attack deaths?

He spent three years trying to bring to market a tourniquet that was so light it didn’t interfere with your surfing, you could apply it with one hand and you could do it ten seconds. It got to the point where all the designers and engineers he spoke to wanted fifty-grand or a hundred gees to get it ready for production.

So he pulled back, repurposed military tourniquets and now sells ’em on his site for sixty bucks apiece. It’s the same price if you want a version built into a legrope.

Jon’s read Taylor’s paper and says it makes assumptions that aren’t always true, like, it being impractical to give first aid in the water. 

Given the short period between a Great White hit on a surfer and the victim bleeding out, you’re gonna have a better chance of keeping someone alive if you’ve got a tourniquet in your wetsuit or a specialised leash.

“You…should…attempt to stop the bleeding in the water,” he says. pointing out most victims of catastrophic bites are pretty much fucked by the time they hit the sand.

“If someone is seriously mauled, a tourniquet is the go. Another assumption is there being no specialised equipment on the beach. We’re trying to change that. You should have that. We speak to councils, to the DPI (Department of Primary Industries), trying to get them to take some responsibility and have public access kits available in Esperance, Margs, along stretches of the North Coast. People do want to have that gear.” 

Jon says he was at the beach yesterday and an old bloke who swims out the shark buoy and back most days asked him if he’d heard of the miracle new technique.

“Better than a tourniquet,” he told Jon.

“Oh my fucking god! That’s why I got home and called you. I cannot believe this shit.” 

Still, there is common ground.

Stopping the bleeding, obvs, is the first thing you gotta do and sticking your fist into someone’s hip will help, although if you want to be even more effective use your knee, more surface area, less fatiguing, says Jon, referencing combat medicine.

“And, it’s fine if it’s all you’ve got although the fact is, if the person is still alive, they’re going to be so adrenalised they’ll be fighting you off. Getting them to stay still is for that pressure is extra hard. That’s why you want a tourniquet, you can set it and then got on with all the other business, getting help and so on.”

Of course, the elephant in the room, is this blithe acceptance of a new normal where Great White hits on surfers, a fatality every two months or so, is seen as a small price to pay to allow ’em to flourish, without fear, in near coastal waters.

Police officer(s) shoot person south of Huntington Beach pier on penultimate day of U.S. Open of Surfing; World Surf League reassures its public, “All athletes and staff are accounted for.”

Continued monitoring of the situation.

A police officer shot a person on the beach near the south end of Huntington Beach pier near the end of the U.S. Open of Surfing’s penultimate day.

Per the scant report from KTLA News:

The shooting took place at 3:15 p.m. and there “is no current public safety threat,” the Huntington Beach Police Department said on Twitter.

One person was shot and taken to a local hospital in unknown condition, police added.

TMZ has published a video of the incident which it writes, “shows a man, who appears to be Black and/or a POC, writhing on the ground and raise his arm as well what appears to be a plastic bag of some sort … before the officers around him unload multiple rounds of their firearms.”

There are very many professional surfers and and World Surf League employees in the area and the WSL was quick to inform the general public that all were ok, taking to Instagram and posting:

We are aware of the incident that occurred near the Huntington Beach event site after competition ended for the day. All athletes and staff are safe and accounted for. The event has been in touch with the Huntington Beach Police Dept. It was confirmed that this was an isolated incident and there is no ongoing threat. The safety of the WSL athletes, staff, and the local community is paramount, and the WSL will continue to monitor the situation.

It is unclear, at this time, the reasons around the shooting or if the investigation into it will delay tomorrow’s U.S. Open of Surfing finals.

Monster wave pioneer, 100-foot wave icon Garrett McNamara reveals long-held, deeply personal secret: “I’m kinda allergic to saltwater. I get all (indecipherable).”

Introducing aquagenic-induced urticaria.

They say you learn something new every day and today’s “new something” is quite a shocker. Monster wave pioneer, father of modern day Nazare, Garrett McNamara has been a constant presence in our surf world for decades with many surprising re-inventions along the way.

I remember, over a decade ago now, standing on the shores of the Banzai Pipeline there on Oahu’s North Shore during a Pipeline Master’s event with large, large swell. So large, in fact, that if my memory serves the contest was put on brief hold. Do they ever do that? Is my memory well and truly shot?

McNamara used the window to head out to 3rd Reef on an electric surfboard that he was the face of. Do you remember that one? The Wavejet?

Anyhow, Garrett went out to put on a show, got smashed and broke his Wavejet in half, both pieces washing to the beach.

“That’s the last we’ll see of him,” I thought but next thing I know he’s discovering Nazare and toast of the town and toast of the world taking CNN anchor Anderson Cooper out on the back of a ski so I thought, “That’s the last we’ll see of him.’

Wrong again, HBO’s 100-Foot Wave such a success that it has been greenlit for a second season and Garrett’s star burning brighter than ever.

Except on a recent podcast with Barstool Sports the big wave icon revealed a long-led, deeply personal family secret.

The host wondered, “What’s the biggest wave you’ve ever bodysurfed?” To which Garrett replied, “You know it’s a funny fact. I’m kinda allergic to saltwater. I get all (indecipherable) and I can’t stay in the water that long so I’m not much of a bodysurfer.”

“There’s no such thing and that’s the last we’ll see of him,” I thought before checking my privilege and do some research.

According to Professor Jonathan Peter, head of the Allergology and Clinical Immunology division at University of Cape Town’s Department of Medicine and the Allergy clinic, “Specialists define a reaction to seawater as aquagenic (water) induced urticaria or cold-inducible urticaria. Studies demonstrate the salt content of water can also influence seawater’s ability to produce hives in certain patients.” Though, “It is not actually considered an allergy.”

Close enough.

Garrett McNamara here to stay.

Former surfing power couple, Gabriel Medina and Charlie Serrano. | Photo: WSL/Scholz

New details emerge of catastrophic rift between newly crowned world champion surfer Gabriel Medina and parents Simone and Charlie; mammy’s monthly allowance slashed; celebrated “Gabriel Medina Institute” shuttered and to be sold off!

“They have always lived through Gabriel’s career. Imposing discipline, giving strength and controlling everything closely. Now, he is no longer a boy and shares his life with his wife."

Earlier this year, Brazil media reported that Gabriel Medina had split, in a professional as well as a private sense, from his mammy Simone and his step-daddy Charlie Serrano.

Charlie you know as the ubiquitous, unsmiling, ever-supportive pillar behind his equally taciturn looking son.

The split was driven, it was said, by Medina’s surprise marriage to actress and model Yasmin Brunet, parental sadness over losing their lil man, the ol empty nest syndrome.

“They have always lived through Gabriel’s career. Imposing discipline, giving strength and controlling everything closely. Now, he is no longer a boy and shares his life with his wife. It is undeniable how passionate they are,” said a friend.

Now as the rift widens beyond, it would appear, anything that would allow a rapprochement between the warring parties, Medina has slashed his mammy’s five gees a month allowance down to three-and-a-half, and Simone and Charlie have stuck a for sale sign on the fabled Gabriel Medina Institute in Maresias, which they got in the breakup deal, seeking offers around ten-mill Brazilian Real or close to two-mill US.

It ain’t all.

Charlie and Simone got a house in a lux condo and the not so flashy joint they lived in before Medina got his first title.

Also, Simone got a little under a million US in cash as part of the deal.

Medina, who is twenty seven, got to keep the six-unit luxury condo he developed with Charlie and a house in the middle of a forest where he now lives with Yasmin and a dozen adopted dogs.

Since the split he’s got back in touch with his real daddy, Claudinho, who now lives in one of Medina’s houses.

Simone and Charlie, meanwhile, are concentrating on their other prodigy, Sophia Medina, and her burgeoning career.

To manage the kid, a sports agency, SoMedina Sports, was formed as a partnership between Charlie and Sophie, Charlie taking ninety percent, Sophia, ten.

Hyper-woke surf website The Inertia posts shocking racist, agist screed: “Instead of trying to defend our little pockets of ‘localized’ surf where a few old white dudes seem to think they deserve more waves than anyone else, maybe it’s time we give in to the flush of kookery!”

First they came for the old white men...

Hyper-woke surf-adjacent website The Inertia shocked its reading public, today, by posting a shockingly snarling racist and agist screed.

The piece, carrying the title “An Ode to the Low-Performance Surf Break,” began as a wonderfully panfoam celebration of quality-fluid waves.

Good vibes etc.

A The Inertia specialty lulling the reader into that comfortable place they are used to.

But then, without warning, the author bared teeth and sunk fans into a protected class.

Old people.

Also those who identify as “white” or “male.”


Instead of trying to defend our last little pockets of “localized” surf where a few old white dudes seem to think they deserve more waves than anyone else, maybe it’s time to give in to the flush of kookery and remember why we’re surfing in the first place — for fun.


What is this “flush of kookery?”

Like a pogrom?

Mob carrying flaming torches going parking lot to parking lot rounding up old white men talking grouchy talk etc.?

Well, very disturbing in any case.

David Lee Scales did not talk about The Inertia when we met for our weekly chat, yesterday, but we did speak about ridding Kauai of interlopers.

Maybe the Flush of Kookery is a good idea?

Listen here