Ian Cohen, wearing his current Gath surf helmet, also holds the damaged purple Kevlar helmet he credits with saving his life after being hit by his own surfboard while surfing at Byron Bay’s Main Beach last summer.
Ian Cohen, wearing his current Gath surf helmet, also holds the damaged purple Kevlar helmet he credits with saving his life after being hit by his own surfboard while surfing at Byron Bay’s Main Beach last summer.

Call for surfers to wear helmets

GREENS MP and experienced surfer Ian Cohen has called for surfers of all levels to consider wearing surf helmets at crowded surf spots like The Pass at Byron Bay.

Mr Cohen believes that surf helmets prevent horrendous accidents such as what happened to Pascal Dattler, 10, who sustained critical head injuries last Friday after being hit by a learner’s surfboard at The Pass.

“Accidents similar to Pascal’s remind us of the importance of protective helmets. Helmets do not get in the way and are a distinct safety advantage with a shell to protect the head,” he said.

Mr Cohen said it would be hard to regulate crowded surfing meccas such as The Pass.

“Surfing is like a last frontier without regulation. But we all have a responsibility to ourselves and others in the water,” he said.

Mr Cohen has sworn by surf helmets since an unexpected gust of wind brought his surfboard crashing down on his helmet while surfing at Byron Bay last year, punching a ‘massive’ hole in it. “My helmet saved my life,” he said.

Pascal Dattler’s father, Thomas, said he would recommend surf helmets to anyone after witnessing his son’s brush with death.

“We never considered surf helmets. But to see the damage done to my son, I would recommend them to anyone,” he said.

Local surfer Andy Gordon said surf helmets were a sensible idea.

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