INJURED – 2 December 2006 — Wharton Beach, Western Australia — surfer attacked
Zak Golebiowski, 15, had part of his right leg bitten off while body boarding about 40 metres offshore of Wharton Beach at Duke of Orleans Bay, 70km east of Esperance, Western Australia.
The attack by a five-metre Great White shark took place around 7.40am local time.
Zak was surfing with his brother when the shark attacked. The shark bit off part of his right leg and severely lacerated and punctured his left leg. His brother and a friend managed to drag the badly mauled boy onto a surfboard and to shore, according to media reports.
On shore a fisherman, Pete Hickmott, and his partner Amy Worling used a sweatshirt and an electrical cord as a tourniquet to stem the bleeding and drove Zak to Esperance, where he was airlifted to the Royal Perth Hospital.
Doctors told media the boy was in a stable condition after surgery.
“The look on his face, the colour of his skin, he was grey. It wasn’t too good,” Hickmott told Perth’s Sunday Times newspaper.
“All I heard was screams. Then I saw the pool of blood and the surfboard behind it. It wasn’t good.”
Peter Hudson, the owner of Esperance Fishing and Diving, told media the couple’s quick response was critical for the boy’s survival. He said he has no doubt the couple contributed greatly to the survival of the young man and in a situation like that, immediate first aid is paramount.