INJURED – 13 February 2010 – Dent Island, Whitsundays, Queensland, Australia – swimmer attacked
Patricia Turnbill, 60, was bitten on the buttocks by a 2 metre bronze whaler or bull shark while swimming near Dent Island, about three kilometres from Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays in Queensland, Australia. She fought off the shark by punching it on the nose. Her wounds were serious and she lost several pints of blood.
She was swimming with friends about 100-200 metres from shore when the incident happened on Saturday afternoon, 13 February 2010.
She is quoted in the Daily Mercury as saying:
“As I was swimming I felt this all mighty tug.
“I turned around and saw this huge shark and thought I am not going to let this shark get the better of me.
“I started punching the shark’s nose – I just kept punching and punching and punching.
“We (the shark and I) had a bit of a tug of war going on.
“I knew at that point, that a part of my body was ripped off.”
She told the Australian:
"And then it got me under the water, but not much because I started kicking at its neck."
The Brisbane Times quoted her as saying:
"All I could concentrate on was surviving."
At this point staff from the local resort pulled her into a small boat and applied
pressure to her wounds with a shirt. She was then transferred to a speed boat and then to a rescue helicopter.
A doctor with rescue helicopter was quoted as saying she lost a lot of blood as well as a substantial amount of flesh.
“I got onto the speed boat and at that stage I was comfortable because I knew I had a doctor there.
“I was having a few jokes, like I was mightier than the shark.
“All I could concentrate on was surviving – I surprised myself. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would fight a shark.
“You can either panic or you can survive.”
The rescue helicopter took her to Mackay Base Hospital where she underwent surgery. At the time of this blog she was expected to undergo more surgery, including skin grafts.
(AAP/ CQ Rescue ) ABC.net.au