Defibrillator sought for remote beach

A local Port Lincoln man has rallied for support to purchase a defibrillator that can be made available at popular surf spot Cactus beach. 

The remote location, 20 kilometres South of Penong and almost 100 kilometres West of Ceduna, often attracts Port Lincoln surf-goers. 

Kiwie White, the man behind the project, said he and others are a number of ageing surfers and holidayers that travel to the campground and beach, and that there is the added risk of a medical episode. 

“Since the road has been done up, a lot of grey nomads are staying at the camp, but anyone can have a heart attack, young people too,” he said. 

“Even if you get other injuries, there’s no services there.”

Mr White, who is 74 years of age, said he was inspired to do something after hearing that long-time friend Wayne Smith had suffered a cardiac arrest on the Port Lincoln golf course, and who was resuscitated by passers-by. 

Mr White says he has been surfing at the beach since 1962, but that the nearest defibrillator is at Penong. 

“That’s a 40 kilometre round trip, and by the time you get back, the person you’re trying to save is going to be dead,” he said. 

Mr White has begun petitioning for the defibrillator on his Facebook and Instagram pages, starting a GoFundMe page, and also opening up a bank account at the Bendigo Bank for those who prefer to donate in that manner. 

He said that within 30 hours of setting up the page, he had already raised just over 700 dollars, with the current balance at just over $830. 

Mr White said that $2,700 was needed in order to purchase a quality defibrillator that includes a voice-over with instructions. 

“We’ll also get a proper Royal Flying Doctors medical kit set up there if we over subscribe,” he said.