Shark dug teeth in, says Greenmount surf victimAndrew MacDonald
DAVID Weale thought his day was going badly when he snapped the fins off his surfboard at Duranbah, but then he was attacked by what he believes was a shark at Greenmount on the Gold Coast.
Just over a week after Wollongbar teen Peter Edmonds was killed by a shark at Ballina, 19-year-old Brisbane resident Mr Weale had hoped to make the most of yesterday's good surf on a day trip to the Gold Coast with five of his mates.
Instead, he ended up at the Tweed Hospital after what he believes could have been a shark bit through his wetsuit in waist-deep water about 11am.
"It happened in a split second," he said.
"I just went to grab it. I was like 'oh my God I'm being attacked by a shark'."
Mr Weale said his eventful day at the beach began when he came off his surfboard at Duranbah.
Lifeguards said the man had felt pain in his leg and grabbed the small shark with both hands before it slipped away.
He walked to the lifeguards who closed the beach and bandaged the leg.
He was treated at Tweed Hospital and has since been discharged.
The attack follows a fatal shark attack this month on Peter Edmonds, 16, who was killed by a shark at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina on April 8.
"I was out at D'bah and I snapped my board. I snapped fins off it and the leg rope and stuff like that," he said.
"My mates decided they would go back out at Greenmount.
"They went surfing so I just took out my camera.
"I was out there taking a couple of recordings of my mates coming through the surf.
"I was reviewing one of the videos and I just felt this mouth wrap around my leg.
"Because I had my wettie (wetsuit) on, it didn't grab me too tightly at first but I definitely felt the pressure of all the teeth."
After feeling the jaws wrap around his lower leg, Mr Weale said his first instinct was to free himself from the creature's grasp.
"I got a bit of a fright," he said.
"I grabbed down to rip it off me because it was latched on to the wettie and as soon as I touched it, it's really dug its teeth in."
Mr Weale said he believed the creature that bit him was just under a metre long, but was unsure what it was, despite grabbing it near the tail in a bid to free his leg.
"I freaked out at first. My instant thought was 'Oh, it's not too big' but I knew it was a shark or something because not many things bite you," he said.
"It was not quite as wide as one of those big Milo tins but that was on the tail end.
"Then I ripped it off and it squirmed and kind of sped off."
Mr Weale notified lifeguards of his encounter after emerging from the water with two holes in his wetsuit and gashes on his left calf.
"Only two teeth punctured the actual wetsuit so I was lucky enough," he said.
"I got out of the water and I had a gash about an inch-and-a-half.
"It's one small gash and one main one."
After treatment from lifeguards, Mr Weale was taken to hospital by friends.
He was treated for shock and received four stitches in the large gash and one in the smaller wound.
Despite his brush with the creature, Mr Weale said his encounter would raise his credibility in the eyes of his friends.
"Everyone's always saying 'you've got a couple of scars on your leg, did you get attacked by a shark?' " he said.
"Now I can actually say it," he added.
Beaches at Rainbow Bay, Greenmount and Coolangatta were closed for about two-and-a-half hours following the attack as a precautionary measure.
Lifeguard superintendent Peter Miller said the creature that bit Mr Weale could have been an aggressive barracuda or a small shark.
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