"His foot ripped off and basically he was bleeding everywhere."
A surfer in his forties is fighting for his life this afternoon after being hit by a suspected Great White shark at Port Macquarie, a holiday hamlet four hours north of Sydney and birthplace of the great Mick Campbell, the one-time tour contender.
The man, who is forty-four, was hit at ten am, and suffered upper and lower leg injuries. He was transported to Port Mac hozzy for emergency surgery.
As the surfers in the lineup paddled for shore, the shark tried to attack for a second time dispelling that hoary old myth that shark bites are a mistake.
A teenage girl who saw the attack described it as “really, really scary. I have never seen anything like it,” she told NBN. “His foot ripped off and basically he was bleeding everywhere. They were trying to talk to him, he was silent, he was frozen. They tried to tie his leg with the leg rope from the surfboard and some sticks to keep it straight.”
Attacks by Great Whites aren’t exactly rare around Port. Three years ago, thirty-five-year-old surfer Chantelle Doyle was pulled from the jaws of a ten-foot Great White by her insanely brave husband Mark Rapley.
“The shark was latched on to her leg. I just jumped into the water. I did what anyone would have done in that moment,” said Rapley, forgetting, perhaps, most of us are cowards in the line of fire and would’ve fled without a backward glance, soul mate or not.
Witness Jed Toohey described the scene.
“It was unbelievable, the scream was incredible and there was splashing everywhere. Mark, her partner, got her up on the board. Mark was a hero. He started laying into the shark because it wouldn’t let go. He saved her life. He got off his board and started punching the shark. If he hadn’t put his own life at risk, it would have been strong enough to take her out to sea.”
That year, 2020, was a wild one for Great White attacks in the area: fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville at Wooli, two hours north of Port and sixty-year-old Rob Pedretti at Kingscliff, another couple of hours north.
Beaches closed etc.
More as it comes.