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Beach Grit

Just in: Shark Bites Surfer!

Derek Rielly

by Derek Rielly

Surfer saves pal in attack at Bombo Beach on Australia's east coast… 

It feels like forever since Australia’s been whipped into a shark frenzy. Do you remember, and you will because it’s only a year or two ago, when Western Australia appeared to’ve become unsurfable, such were the numbers of great whites?

And then it was the stretch of coast between Ballina and Byron Bay on Australia’s east coast that became ground zero for great whites. Quiet there now, too, despite warnings earlier this year that further attacks were imminent. 

Maybe it’s ’cause everyone surfs in packs, avoids dawn and dusk, and maybe it’s ’cause of all those shark spotting apps that puts the fear of god into everyone, dramatically reducing numbers.

Anyway, 22-year-old surfer Brett Connellan just lost “three quarters of his thigh” in an attack last night at Bombo Beach, a couple of hours south of Sydney.

According to,

“A young surfer was lucky to survive a horrific shark ­attack last night after his left thigh was ripped off at Bombo Beach near Kiama on the south coast.

“It was only the heroic and quick-thinking actions of a fellow boardrider — who dragged his mate to shore and stemmed the gushing blood flow — that saved the 22-year-old’s life.

“As the victim lay barely conscious on the sand with deep puncture wounds, his friend used the leg rope of his surfboard to stop the bleeding.

“He was in a critical condition and his blood pressure was dangerously low,” ambulance Inspector Geoff Senior said. “The actions of his surfing companion kept him alive until our paramedics were able to perform a blood transfusion.”

“The victim, who last night was in a stable condition in St George Hospital, was surfing about 100m out to sea on the northern end of the beach — not far from recent sightings of large white pointers — when he was attacked about 7pm.”

Read more here. 

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