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Melbourne’s Urbnsurf Closed Due To “Serious Medical Incident”

Editor’s Note: Urbnsurf released the below update on 20-06-22, nine days following the incident:

“The surfer is in a stable condition in hospital. He is awake and responding well, after experiencing a cardiac episode whilst paddling out during a surf session at the park. The surfer, his friends and family, and our team, extend utmost thanks and gratitude to the trained lifeguards, safety officers and staff who were onsite, and the first responders who were able to perform crucial first aid assistance.”


11-06-22

On Friday afternoon (Australian East Coast time), an unconscious surfer, believed to be in his forties, was pulled from Urbnsurf’s wave pool by other surfers who performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene. 

A Victoria State Ambulance spokesperson said the man was believed to have suffered a medical episode while in the water. The man was transferred to Royal Melbourne Hospital in critical condition. The park was closed immediately following the incident. Police and workplace health and safety investigations will be undertaken.

Urbnsurf said footage showed “the surfer collapsed while paddling out and did not the hit the wall.”

“There has been a serious incident at Urban Surf Melbourne, our team has provided support and care for the friends on site,” a statement from Urban Surf read. “Our first priority is the health and safety of our customers . . the facility will remain closed until further notice. As a police investigation is underway, we are unable to provide any further comment.”

Being an outdoor-enamored nation, Australians spend much of their time playing football, cricket, swimming, running, and yes, surfing. 

Heart attacks are common in Australia, on average 19 people a day die from heart attacks and 157 people are hospitalized. That equates to around one person every 9 minutes*. And while hospitalizations and the prevalence of heart attacks have been decreasing in recent years, one steadfast factor is that men are twice as likely to suffer one as women.

Awareness of the need for quick medical intervention in the case of heart attacks has been realized by sporting events worldwide. Heightened by the number of incidents occurring across all types of activities. These days, few major sporting competitions occur without a defibrillator close at hand.

I’ve been at The Noosa Festival of Surfing (one of the largest surf events on the planet) when surfers (all men) have suffered heart attacks. The first year it happened, a call was put out to the lifeguards, and they arrived as quickly as possible, from way down the beach, and saved the guy’s life. Following this incident, the organizers saw fit to keep a defibrillator on hand, and it’s since helped save more than one life during the competition.

Be Aware

Most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Symptoms can be; shortness of breath, chest and/or upper body discomfort (particularly in the arm or shoulder), breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea, or lightheadedness. Contact emergency services immediately if you, or anyone you know, starts experiencing these symptoms. 


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