By Phil Jarratt
Following two possibly avoidable deaths at Tea Tree Bay this year, Noosa World Surfing Reserve this week installed a second defibrillator station within the National Park, thanks to the generosity of a group of local surfers and business people.
Rob and Charity Warburton, along with friends Adrian and Sonya Stephenson from Noosa Van Lines and Jahna Pearce from Coastal Dry Cleaners and Launderers, funded the new AED (automated external defibrillator), supplied by BCR Medical and installed at the Tea Tree amenities block by senior ranger Eugene Craddock. The World Surfing Reserve and BCR installed the first defibrillator at the Noosa Parks Association kiosk earlier in the year, and with negotiations underway for a third station in the park near Granite and Alexandria Bay, the coastal walk and adjacent surf breaks will be safer for surfers and all park users.
When Noosa Heads Surf Club installs its three donated defib stations along Main Beach and West Beach in the near future, the entire coastline of the World Surfing Reserve will have a new layer of protection, enabling more first responders to reach victims of cardiac arrest inside the vital three minutes when lives can be saved.
Rob Warburton told Noosa Today that he and wife Charity first started thinking about funding the NWSR defibrillator campaign after two close friends had heart attacks while surfing earlier this year.
“Then, not long after, we heard about the two people who died at Tea Tree because there wasn’t a defibrillator close enough, and decided to see if we could change that. Seeing the actual defibrillator going in has made it real for all of us, and the directional signage is really important too, because people need to be made aware of where they are.”
With the surf beaches’ defibrillator program nearing completion, the Noosa World Surfing Reserve is now planning a major awareness campaign to be rolled out over the summer.