Shark Bite First Aid Initiative Planned on Lower Cape

ORLEANS – The Atlantic White Shark Conservancy will host a “Stop the Bleed” training session next week in partnership with Orleans Fire Rescue and the Orleans Natural Resource Department.

The effort will provide training in lifesaving skills that could be used in the event of a shark bite.

The training sessions will be free and open to the general public.

It follows the fatal shark attack in Wellfleet last month that killed Arthur Medici of Revere. Another man from New York was bitten by a shark in Truro in August and survived.

“First response plays a critical role in saving lives. The quick response of two nurses and other willing bystanders who sprang into action on the beach helped save the life of William Lytton after he was bitten by a white shark off Truro,” said Orleans Fire Chief Tony Pike in a statement.

“Even though shark bites are rare, the international shark attack files note that the majority happen to surface recreationalists, which includes surfers, windsurfers, and boogie boarders,” said Cynthia Wigren, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy Chief Executive Officer.

“We know from local research that the number of white sharks off our coast is high in September and October, during a time when surfers are still out on the water. With no lifeguards or EMTs on the beaches this time of year, a surfer will be dependent on the response of the person(s) nearest to him/her in the event of a shark bite,” she said.

“Most white shark bite victims survive because of first aid initiated from bystanders,” said Orleans Natural Resource Manager Nate Sears.

“If you are a member of the beach community, please take advantage of this opportunity for the free training. You could save a life,” he said.

Training sessions are free and open to the public. Courses will be led by Orleans Fire Rescue and offered on October 18, November 1 and November 8 from 7 pm – 8 pm at Atlantic White Shark Conservancy’s Shark Center in Chatham.

Offering ‘Stop the Bleed’ training across the lower Cape is an initiative of the regional shark working group.

The Town of Wellfleet is offering training on October 19th, with additional town schedules to follow. To register visit: www.atlanticwhiteshark.org/public-safety.

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