Sydney woman Anika Craney, 29, in was in good spirits while clutching onto a book about sharks in Cairns Hospital on Tuesday night. PICTURE: Dean Cropp
Sydney woman Anika Craney, 29, in was in good spirits while clutching onto a book about sharks in Cairns Hospital on Tuesday night. PICTURE: Dean Cropp

Shark attack victim in good spirits despite surgery

THE 29-year-old woman reportedly bitten by a shark off Fitzroy Island on Tuesday is set to undergo surgery but remains in good spirits, her friend and boat skipper Dean Cropp says.

Deckhand and videographer Anika Craney suffered a possible fracture to her left ankle after she was bitten while swimming near Welcome Bay off a private boat, Barefoot II.

She was flown to Cairns Hospital and remained there overnight.

On arrival at the hospital yesterday, Ms Craney declared she "still loves sharks".

Mr Cropp said he would be going to the hospital to support her during surgery.

"We sent a video of us in the water yesterday after she was airlifted just to get the monkey off our back and she was stoked by it," Mr Cropp said.

"She was largely worried about us sailing off without her than her injuries. She's now concentrating on getting better and we're here for her."

Asked about whether they have received more information about whether it was a shark, Mr Cropp said they were adamant it was a shark based on their experiences in freediving and filming in marine environments.

Anika Craney , 29, was swimming off Fitzroy Island when she was bitten on the leg by a fish. Picture: Instagram.
Anika Craney , 29, was swimming off Fitzroy Island when she was bitten on the leg by a fish. Picture: Instagram.


Some marine experts have raised doubts over whether the attacker was a shark.

"Based on the severity of the bite, she's not a weekend snorkeller. She knows enough" Mr Cropp said.

He praised the tenacity of Ms Craney, who also lost her Cobargo home during the New South Wales bushfires.

"She's an important part of our crew and really doesn't want to lose that adventurous spirit," he said.

"The heartache she went through in the bushfire was more severe than this."

Ms Craney's family is set to fly into Cairns today to visit her.

Originally published as Fitzroy Island attack victim in good spirits despite surgery



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