Anytime she thinks about the attack “I’m hit with low grade nausea and panic. And that just comes at me day after day, after day."
Twenty twenty was a helluva year for Great White attacks in Australia, east coast, west coast, they were everywhere.
By August of that year, there had been five fatals, including two on surfers: fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville at Wooli, two hours north of Port Macquarie, and sixty-year-old Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, another couple of hours north.
Over at Bunker Bay in Western Australia, twenty-eight-year-old surfer Phil Mummert was hit by a “freakishly large” Great White.
“The White came out the water and inhaled the board pretty much,” said a witness.
In Tasmania, a ten-year-old kid was snatched from the deck of a fishing boat by a Great White, only to be dragged back on board by his dad.
A psycho year that was confirmed at the end of August when thirty-five-year-old surfer Chantelle Doyle was hit by a ten-foot Great White at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, a pretty fishing town on Australia’s mid-North Coast.
It was only an act of impossible bravery by her husband, belting the White in the face until it released its grip on his wife’s leg, that saved the woman,
“This fella paddle over and jumped off his board onto the shark and hit it to get it to release her…pretty full-on, really heroic,” said Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce.
Two years on, Chantelle has shifted to boxing following severe nerve damage to her bitten leg, which means she’s gotta wear a brace on her left foot and lower leg.
“My leg is still partially paralysed,” she told ABC News. “And I had expected a lot more and I was just really sick of feeling like I couldn’t function the way I ever used to function. So I started boxing.”
Anytime she thinks about the attack “I’m hit with low grade nausea and panic. And that just comes at me day after day, after day.”
Of the attack,
“It grabbed me and I grabbed the board and it readjusted … There were three distinct readjustments of the jaws. I was holding on to the nose of my board… It was like being bitten by a dog – it’s painful but it’s more this intense pressure and squeezing and crushing.”
Not that she holds any grudges against Great Whites.
Her six-minute bout on October 29 will be leveraged to raise money for the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
“I have this crazy vision that Australia could be a global role model for biodiversity and living with nature and I really think we can be,” she says.
View this post on Instagram