Surfer survives shark attack
SURFER Jonathan Beard was lucky to survive an attack by a shark at Fingal yesterday.
Paramedics said Mr Beard, 31, received a 'substantial bite' to the upper left thigh while surfing about 70m offshore at Dreamtime Beach.
The Brisbane man yesterday remained in a stable condition in the Gold Coast Hospital. Authorities said the wound was not life threatening.
The attack occurred just before 9.30am about 500m south of Fingal Headland on the Tweed Coast.
Mr Beard's friend, known only as Chad, said his mate managed to swim to shore after being bitten by the shark.
“There was an attack from down below. It hit him on one of the legs,” Chad said.
“There were all dolphins surrounding us at the time.
“He knew what had happened. He called out 'shark!' And he got this hit of adrenaline straight afterwards, which got him in so far and then we helped him to shore.
“I don't really know what to say, I'm a bit shaken. The main thing is it didn't hit a main artery and he didn't bleed to death on us.”
Mr Beard's friends were able to stop the bleeding by using a leg rope from one of their boards as a tourniquet before surf lifesavers and paramedics arrived on the scene.
NSW Ambulance paramedics praised the man's friends for their quick thinking.
Kingscliff paramedic Syd Francis said it appeared Mr Beard lost a lot of blood before his friends secured the leg.
Mr Francis estimated the deep wound to be about 30cm long and 20cm wide and said it reached bone.
“It was quite a substantial bite, pretty well down to bone level. There were also smaller teeth marks around the wound. But there didn't appear to be any major blood vessel involvement. He was a lucky man,” he said.
“He was in what we'd class as shock when we got there. His blood pressure was a bit low and he was pale and sweating.”
Paramedics set up a drip and gave him pain killers.
Surf lifesavers could not say what type of shark was involved and said nothing was sighted during a search later.
Ian Thomason saw the surfer after the attack.
“It also took a chunk out of his board. But he was very brave. His mates did a good job, too. They wrapped him up really well and stopped the bleeding.”
He said no one knew what sort of shark was involved.
“The guys with him said they saw just the grey of the body in the water.”