Australia surfer saves wife by punching shark
18 August 2020 | International
NEW SOUTH WALES
A man leapt from his surfboard onto a shark that was attacking his wife, repeatedly punching the animal until it let go, Australian media reported.
Chantelle Doyle, 35, was surfing off Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie, New South Wales, when the attack took place.Her husband punched the shark until it released its grip and then helped Ms Doyle to the shore.
She was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries to her right leg.
Experts quoted by the Port Macquarie News believe Doyle had been mauled by a juvenile great white shark up to three metres in length.
Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce praised the husband - named by media as Mark Rapley - for his quick action.
“This fella paddled over and jumped off his board on to the shark and hit it to get it to release her and then assisted her back into the beach,” he said, quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald. “Pretty full on, really heroic.”
Inspector Andrew Beverley, of Ambulance NSW, said people on the beach administered first aid to Ms Doyle before medics arrived.
“The bystanders on scene that rendered assistance should be commended. They did an amazing job,” he said.
He added that it was the third serious shark attack on that stretch of coast in recent months.
Doyle was flown to Newcastle Hospital for surgery and is in a stable condition.