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



VIDEO: Eco event about so much more than surfing

Abysse swimwear co-director Hanalei Reponty models local brand mermaid flippers by Mahina Mer-Fins. Photo by Alina Rylko.

Crowds drop-in by the thousands to colourful surf festival at Byron.

GALLERY: Police raid Nimbin shop

A man will face court today on alleged drug supply charges after a raid at a Nimbin shop

Police executed a search warrant at a store on Cullen Street

She confronts her abuser after 50 years, forces a confession

SURVIVOR: Debbie McDonald was sexually abused by her stepfather almost 50 years ago.

"This is our little secret" he would tell her.

Local Partners

Cars toot during Lismore street protest

Motorists gave their morale suuport to a street protest about refugees on Saturday


Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Top 10 things to do this weekend

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Are you looking to get out and about over the next two days?

Teeing off to support Jodie's Inspiration

Reece Smith, Ernie Angelosanto and Shayne Smith will compete for the top of the leaderboard at this weekend's Jodie's Inspiration Golf Day.

Vie for the top of the leaderboard, if you dare

Un-American tale makes Lion weakest link in Oscars line-up

PSYCHOLOGY researchers find US films and actors most likely to win accolades at the Oscars.

Can rightful winner Midnight take out golden Gosling in Oscars?

Can Lion pip La La Land at the post in this year's Oscars? Sunny Pawar (pictured) helped bring a powerful film to the big screen.

WILL Aussie film Lion triumph or will popular La La Land prevail?

Living End, Grinspoon stars hit stage for American Idiot

Chris Cheney of The Living End stars in the Australian production of Green Days musical American Idiot at Brisbane's QPAC Theatre.

TAKE a look behind the scenes of Green Day's American Idiot musical

Northern Rivers gig guide

PIRATE FLAG: The Hussy Hick's latest single is a crowd favourite that echoes a sentiment of political scepticism. Hear Pirate Flag at Tintenbar Upfront, Tintenbar Hall, tomorrow 7.30pm. $20.

What's on this week in local entertainment

Samuel L Jackson dismisses La La Land ahead of Oscars

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in a scene from the movie La La Land.

Hollywood actor and Oscars voter says Denzel should win top gong

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!