Kiama gets behind Brett

Brett surfingThe whole of Kiama breathed a sigh of relief when the swift actions of friends and nurses on the spot saved the life of young local surfer Brett Connellan.

Brett was attacked by a shark while surfing at Bombo, losing most of his thigh and injuring his hand. He is still in intensive care at St George Hospital while specialists decide how to best treat his thigh, but he has been moved down to ICU2. It is not the place he expected to celebrate his 23rd birthday.

“It is looking very promising that they will save his leg,” says Brett’s best mate Nick Clifford who has spent much of the past week with him. “It was a freak accident and the quick actions of Joel Trist, his partner Agie who is an ICU nurse, another nurse who was out swimming and others on the spot saved his life.”

Joel brought him in on his board and together they stemmed the blood loss with a tourniquets made from leg ropes.

Their efforts cannot be praised highly enough, along with the professionalism of the paramedics, police and hospital staff.

Friend Evan Batkin with a fundraising bucket at Penny Whistlers cafe

Friend Evan Batkin with a fundraising bucket at Penny Whistlers cafe

Nick says everyone is being positive and looking to the future. “We have started a trust fund for Brett to help with his recovery expenses,” he says. “There are donation buckets around town, or people can donate direct into the account [details right].

“We are also planning to hold a benefit night, so if people want to donate items to that they should drop in their details to ZINK Surf on Terralong St.”

It is the first time the surf loving Kiama community has had to deal with such an incident, and local surfers are still wary about going back out, even though the beaches are now open.

Council has instituted regular patrols and is assessing a number of initiatives to provide warning systems, including drones and a blimp. Brett is well known to be against any suggestion of culling.

Nick says that Brett is one of the most talented surfers in town. “With Brett, surfing is more of a passion than a sport,” he says.

He has a strong  network of friends both within the surfing community and beyond who are there to help him and his family through this ordeal.

Details:  Brett Connellan Trust   BSB: 012709    Acc No: 298964661


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