Mandurah surfers hope to bring peace of mind with new safety invention

Mandurah surfers Paul Simeone and Matthew Wall are doing their best to provide fellow board riders and their families with peace of mind when they enter the water.

The pair of mates have recently invented a new emergency response device that will give people the means to deal with emergency situations as they occur, instead of swimming victims to shore first.

Their Surf Accessory for Emergencies (SAFE) raft is designed to be anchored just behind surf breaks, and comes complete with two first-aid kits, a registered EPIRB, shark shield, strobe lights, a whistle and a pair of fins.

“Essentially you tow it out close to where people might be swimming or surfing, let the anchor down and it just sits there in case you need it,” Mr Simeone said.

“If someone has a laceration or is knocked out, the time it takes to swim them to shore could be vital, so this lets you give them the basic treatment right there in the water before you get them back on land.”

Matthew Wall and Paul Simeone are hoping to complete more SAFE rafts. Photo: Justin Rake.

Matthew Wall and Paul Simeone are hoping to complete more SAFE rafts. Photo: Justin Rake.

The two came up with the concept about a year ago.

Their initial idea of having a float equipped with first-aid gear evolved into the SAFE raft, costing the pair $1800 to compile.

Their aim now is to complete more and distribute them to local clubs.

“We have no commercial interest in this, we simply want people to feel comfortable in the water again and also give their families some peace of mind,” Mr Wall said.

“If we could finish around eight to 10 rafts we’d then donate them to the local surf clubs, open water swim clubs and really anyone who could use the extra safety in the ocean.”

The raft is decked out with first-aid equipment.

The raft comes decked out with all the essential first-aid equipment. Photo: Justin Rake.

The raft comes decked out with all the essential first-aid equipment. Photo: Justin Rake.

One kit is specifically designed for treating people in the water, and includes tourniquets to help stem blood flow, while the second contains everything needed once on land.

The shark shield covers a six-metre radius and the raft has been extensively tested in tough conditions.

“We’ve battered it around as best we can and it’s stood up to every test,” Mr Wall said.

“There isn’t any ‘one fits all’ solution to emergencies but this has all the essentials.”

The pair are now on the hunt to secure funding in the form of grants to be able to finish more SAFE rafts.

To jump on board or find out more about the SAFE rafts call Paul Simeone on 0409 298 987 or Matthew Wall on 0421 168 584.

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