"Two shark bites in one arvo at the same place is pretty hectic."
The east coast of Australia is still reeling from devastating floods that flushed out a good slice of the continent recently in previously unimaginable ways.
Bloated rivers swamping everything in their path.
Towns washed entirely off the map.
Much horror on the ground.
Situation still unfolding in many places (you can donate to support aid efforts here).
Even spots that weren’t hit too bad like my local area are still seeing bath-warm, syrupy water conditions over three weeks later.
We’ve gone from P-Pass blue to Canggu brown and it’s still showing no signs of switching back.
Before and after the rain.
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With the rain has come the sharks.
Giddy with the amount of livestock and refuse being pumped out into the lineup they’ve been bumping and grinding on anything that pops into their periphery.
The type to munch first and ask questions later.
Amazingly, one sleepy little backwater here on the mid-north coast of NSW has seen two bull shark attacks in the one day.
Crowdy Head sits just south of Port Macquarie, and is one of the most easterly points of the Australian mainland (behind only Cape Byron and Seal Rocks, for those playing at home).
Crowdy’s a protected bay. North facing. Could have been a good point break if not for the fishing harbour plonked right on the top of the point.
It holds a special place in my heart. I learned to surf there as a grom. Scattered my dad’s ashes at a favourite spot of his just down around the bend in the bay. Still visit regularly.
It is, though, an objectively shit wave.
Might get good one or two times a year but for the most part is a ten mile-long closeout.
Which makes getting hit by a shark there even more annoying.
Tradie Tim McAndrew was going out for a quick paddle in the muddy brown waters around five when he was hit.
“I was only in the water for about a minute. I was in chest deep water and had just come up from putting on my leg rope. Then ‘wooshka’, this thing has come in and hit me like a bowling ball and I thought ‘what the fuck was that. I looked down and, yeah, I saw the blood and thought ‘shit I have been bitten by a shark’.”
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Luckily Tim only sustained minor injuries. Was able to get himself out to the Manning Base hospital in nearby Taree for treatment.
But upon being patched up by a friendly nurse he discovered he wasn’t even the first shark attack victim the nurse had seen that day.
“When we got to the ED and I told the triage nurse I had been bitten by a shark, she said ‘oh another one!’,” Tim said. “She pointed in this guy’s direction and I get chatting to him and he’d arrived at the ED 40 minutes before me. He had been bitten by a shark at Crowdy Bay, too.”
Tim said the guy told him he had been swimming laps at Crowdy Bay for 30 years.
“Two shark bites in one arvo at the same place is pretty hectic.”
As far as I can recall there hasn’t been any attacks on the Crowdy main beach in living memory.
Though another local did have a run in with a bull at the nearby backbeach about fifteen years ago. Given the turbidity and warmth of the water, this type activity is a given.
But compare the bull shark attack victims, all still walking, talking, and for the most part smiling, with the recent spate of White shark attacks we’ve seen up and down the coast.
Poor souls consumed whole in methodical, unaggravated attacks.
Those Whites do not fuck around.