Jarryd Tinson lies in his Gold Coast Hospital bed, waiting for surgery on his leg which was bitten by a shark on Sunday.
Shark victim tells of vicious attack
Jarryd Tinson lies in his Gold Coast Hospital bed, waiting for surgery on his leg which was bitten by a shark on Sunday. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen
JARRYD Tinson is used to handling up to 20 sharks a day in his job as a tuna fisherman.
But the 3m mako shark that was hauled aboard the long-line tuna vessel Straight Shooter about 200km off the Gold Coast on Sunday was nowhere near as placid as it seemed.
The 20-year-old fisherman from Forster on the NSW mid north coast was about to gut the 90kg fish when he stepped over its tail to grab a knife.
Suddenly it arched its head upwards, sank its teeth into his right leg and hung on tight.
"The pain was excruciating," said Mr Tinson as he lay in a Gold Coast Hospital bed yesterday, awaiting surgery.
"(The shark) just calmly latched on to me.
"I was kind of in shock. I don't want to say the word I said, but I looked down and I started to realise I could lose me leg, so I just started screaming (for help)."
One of his shipmates tried to kill the shark with his knife but was unsuccessful.
Skipper Adam Whan then stepped in and took decisive action, almost decapitating the shark with his knife before it finally let go of Mr Tinson's leg.
"The skipper acted fast and acted sensibly and got him off me."
Mr Whan called for help and the RACQ CareFlight helicopter airlifted the injured fisherman to the hospital.
The shark had sunk its teeth down to the bone.
Doctors told Mr Tinson the wound would require up to 100 stitches. "There's going to be a few scars," he said.
The skipper applied eight rudimentary stitches before the rescue helicopter arrived.
Mr Tinson was surprised he hadn't lost his leg.
"A mako shark normally will latch on and do a big spin. It could have taken my whole calf off."
Mr Tinson has worked as a tuna fisherman for four years. "I'm pretty experienced with sharks, mate. I deal with them every day.
"But I just misjudged this one shark when I went to step over its tail."
Despite his ordeal, Mr Tinson is keen to get back to sea as soon as his leg heals. "I'm a fisherman for life," he said. "I'm making good money, mate.
"But next time a shark comes on board, I'll be a lot more careful.
"One thing I've learned is don't underestimate sharks, especially if they're lying there looking placid."
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