South Shields surfing community come together to raise over £4000 for three defibrillators across Sandhaven Beach after member suffered heart attack

The South Shields surfing community have come together to raise over £4000 to fund three defibrillators across Sandhaven Beach after one its members suffered a heart attack earlier this year.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 10:11 am
From left to Right - Nick Jones of South Shields Surf School, Emma Choudrury of Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, Nancy Arthur, Michael Wright- of MW Electrical, Lee Thompson of South Shields Surf CLUB, and Charlie Sykes of The Sand Dancer. Georgia @ Wasteful Media

South Shields Surf Club and South Shields Surf School worked together to originally raise money for just one defibrillator, but were blown away when the community came together to raise enough money for three.

The project began after group member, Nancy Arthur, 37, suffered a heart attack while surfing at Sandhaven Beach in May, with the incident acting as a stark reminder a cardiac event can happen to anyone.

Thankfully, Nancy made a full recovery from her heart attack and encouraged the installation of the life saving equipment across Sandhaven Beach.

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Defibrillator installed outside the Sand Dancer Beach Bar. Georgia @ Wasteful Media

She said: “It’s so unbelievable to see how everyone has worked together to fund these defibrillators. The response and the quickness of the money raised has just been mind blowing.

“The amount of people we have at the beach, these kind of things can happen to anyone. I had no indicators and there was no reason for me to have a heart attack, but to know that anyone who has a cardiac event is now safer is very comforting.”

The first defibrillator has been installed outside the The Sand Dancer Beach Bar with the second to be placed at South Shields Fairground opposite the skate park and the third still to be decided on.

Volunteer at South Shields Surf Club, Aaron Kinghorn, was blown away by the response of the community.

He said: “There’s so many good people out there and people who want to look out for others. It’s overwhelming to see the community come together like this and it feels really good to see people looking out for others in need.

“The defibrillators can literally save a life. I hope no one ever finds themselves in that kind of situation where the equipment is needed, but I’ll be glad to know if that situation does arise, we’ve done something that could make a difference.”

South Shields Surf Club has over 70 members, offering weekly training sessions, surf trips, beach BBQs and often takes part in beach litter picks while South Shields Surf School offers lessons to surfers of all abilities.

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