SYDNEY (AFP) – An Australian university is testing new materials designed to lessen the impact of shark bites, researchers said yesterday, in a project aimed at reducing fatalities and easing the nerves of swimmers.
Researchers at Flinders University in Adelaide have received government funding to test a new neoprene – a synthetic rubber commonly used in wetsuits – against the force of a bite from several species, including the great white shark.
The new material aims to reduce cuts and punctures from a shark attack, thus lessening blood loss for victims.
“We are cognisant that it will not prevent all injuries as it will not prevent fractures or crushing injuries,” associate professor Charlie Huveneers told AFP.
“However, most shark-bite fatalities are due to blood loss, and the ability to reduce such blood loss along with rapid emergency responses will hopefully decrease fatalities and injuries due to shark bites.”