News

Shark attack rekindles memories for 1979 rescuer

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Bill Sylvester came to the rescue of Michael Oliver in 1979.
LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Bill Sylvester came to the rescue of Michael Oliver in 1979.

THE fatal attack on Tuesday is almost a mirror-image of an attack that occurred at the Pass in 1979, pioneer diving instructor, Bill Sylvester said.

Mr Sylvester, who now lives at Alstonville, rescued 18-year-old Michael Oliver on September 14, 1979 when Michael was attacked on the right leg by a shark.

The young man survived, but the memories live on.

"I can still remember him calling for help; there was this big splash and then his call," Mr Sylvester said

"The difference is one boy was lucky (to have survived).

"We were able to get to Michael to stem the bleeding in time.

"There are many parallels to what happened this week, and it should ring bells for Byron Bay to be careful in September when bait fish attract sharks into the bay.

"This time of year you get a lot of small bait fishing running - mostly pilchards, and the rain may also have seen mullets come in from the river.

"I am not convinced the shark in either attack was a great white. In both cases, the shark let go (of the victim). It wasn't vicious like a pointer attack.

"I think what we have to remember is that the number of fatalities are very low in numbers considering the number of people who swim here."

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Bill Sylvester came to the rescue of Michael Oliver in 1979.
LUCKY TO BE ALIVE: Bill Sylvester came to the rescue of Michael Oliver in 1979.

Topics:  byron bay, editors picks, shark attack



Mountain bike park proves it's popular

GREAT NEWS: David Hegerty, president Northern Rivers Dirty Wheels Mountain Bike Club, with Page MP Kevin Hogan.

Opening of new New Italy Mountain Bike Park

Local Partners

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

Emily Blunt's (almost) singing career

Emily Blunt nearly became the British Britney Spears.

Angelina is blocking calls from Brad Pritt

Angelina Jolie has reportedly blocked Brad Pitt's number.

Encounters on stage at Lennox Head

COMING SOON: Dancers Elizabeth Venn and Tess Eckert are part of Encounters, the upcoming performance by SPRUNG!! Integrated Dance Theatre Inc.

By Sprung!! Dance Theatre Inc

Apocalyptica 'seek and destroy' sceptics with 'master' set

Apocalyptica play Max Watts in Brisbane on their Shadowmaker Tour.

Review of final show of Apocalyptica's tour

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction