Family gives spearfisher first aid after hearing screams

JAMES Harrison was snorkelling with his family off Miall Island when he heard Allan Countryman’s screams.

James, holidaying in the region from the Gold Coast, was with his wife and two children when Allan was attacked by a shark only 100 metres from where he and his 13-year-old son were snorkelling.

Being the only one who was equipped with first aid training, James rushed to the aid of Allan.

“As we were getting in the boat we heard the screams and we told the brother who had pulled Allan out of the water to get the boat to shore,” he said.


“There wasn’t a huge amount of people around, maybe three boats, but my wife Katrina called 000 while Kane, my son, found GPS co-ordinates for the Coast Guard to get to us quickly which they thankfully did.”

James said the brother was covered in blood and had already wrapped shirts around the victim’s hands.

“I had a look and rebound them tighter because they (the wounds) were so bad…no one knew what to do,” he said.

“We laid him down in his boat and held the pressure on the arms… we calmed him down, he kept saying ‘I’m done for’ but I said you’ll come out with some scars but you’ll be fine.”

James said he urged people to do a first aid course as soon as possible because it most likely helped save a life on Saturday.

“At the end of the day it’s about him (Allan) being alive,” he said.

“I just hope he is well and surviving and I heard he is recovering well.”

James and his family are travelling back to the Gold Coast but have decided to hang up the snorkelling gear for the rest of the trip.

What a legend, well don on helping with first aid. Doing a first aid course can not only get you a job but it can give you the satisfaction of helping someone in need. Make sure you book in to a first aid course as soon as possible so that you can be as great as James. In Canberra we can train you in one of our excellent first aid course held at the Dickson Tradies.

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