News

Woman held shark victim’s hand hoping to feel signs of life

HELPER: Debbie McDonald and daughter Sienna Goldstone.
HELPER: Debbie McDonald and daughter Sienna Goldstone. Christian Morrow

DEBBIE McDonald from Suffolk Park was one of a group of people who went to the aid of Paul Wilcox last Tuesday after he was fatally attacked by a three-metre white pointer at Clarkes Beach.

Still shaken after the ordeal, events of the morning play over and over again in Debbie's mind.

"I was jogging on the beach when I came across a group of tourists pointing their camera phones into the water," she said.

"I stopped to take a photo of what I thought may be a dolphin, but then looked to me like a large mass of seaweed.

"Then in the face of a wave I saw this massive shark, there was no curviness in it, it was pointy as."

By this time Mark Hickey, a lawyer from Newcastle, had arrived at the shoreline with his surf ski and the two thought the man may still be alive and they had to act.

"Mark threw his kayak on the sand and went in ahead of me try to drag the man out," she said.

Debbie plunged into the water after Mr Hickey to help bring Mr Wilcox to the shore.

Having already called the emergency line she relayed instructions to Mr Hickey and two other men as they attempted to perform CPR on Mr Wilcox.

As the group worked to try and save Mr Wilcox, Debbie held his hand, hoping to feel signs of life.

"I was holding his hand to see if he would squeeze it," she said.

Mr Wilcox was eventually pronounced dead by the police and medics who had arrived.

The tragedy unfolded on a part of the beach where Debbie and her family often swim.

This weekend her seven-year-old daughter is also due to sign on for another season of Nippers.

For now Debbie is staying out of the water but does anticipate getting back in the surf at some stage.

"I was in the Nippers when I was younger and I realise that when you get in the water you are in the shark's backyard," she said.

Debbie was also concerned that many people continued swimming after the shark attack occurred.

"I do think that we could put something in place to get people out of the water quicker after a shark attack," she said

"Maybe we could come up with some kind of recognised hand signal to use on the beach.

"My aim now is to work on making the beach a safer place."

Topics:  editors picks, shark attack




Jodie inspires rugby team to wear pink at Charity Day

The Marist Brothers Rams wore pink to support Jodie McRae (centre) and her charity, Jodie's Inspiration, at the Rugby League Football Club Day on the weekend.

Marist Brothers help Jodie's Inspiration raise money for hospitals.

Kicking the TinCAN art show to help the elderly

CATCHING A TRAIN TO MOROCCO: This was one of the entries in the Tintenbar Art Show's photographic competition. Photo Contributed

The Tintenbar Art Show is on again over September

Fun time to run after the Olympics are over

FINISHED WELL: Runners in the Greater Casino Fun Run cross the line last year. Photo Samantha Elley / Express Examiner

Starlight Children's Foundation to benefit from fun run

Latest deals and offers

WATCH: News reader tries her hand at hardcore shooter, Doom

Veteran journo and noob gamer takes a shot at Doom

What's on the small screen this week

MasterChef Australia's final four contestants, from left, Harry Foster, Elena Duggan, Elise Franciskovic and Matt Sinclair.

MASTERCHEF makes way for The Bachelor on Ten's reality TV slate.

Splendour found The Cure

Robert Smith at the Splendour in the Grass Amphitheatre stage during The Cure's show.

Day two of Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian a hit at Splendour in the Grass

Guy Sebastian performs at Splendour in the Grass with Paces.

REALITY TV judge a hit with festival crowd.

Splendour revellers cool down with giant poo emoji

The Mr Poopie sculpture at Splendour in the Grass.

Mr Poopie sculpture is inspired by the ice cream/poop emoticon.

Superheroes of the big screen enjoy sounds of Splendour

CHRIS Hemsworth and his Avengers mates drop by Byron festival.

You can own this Queensland town for just $1

Yelarbon

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

Massive residential 9-storey high-rise hit by delays

An artist’s impression of the eight-storey-high apartment complex that Bernoth Holdings wants to build in South Toowoomba, next to the City Golf Club.

Developer struggles to get approved high-rise development started