03/21/2011 Dave Pearson ( Australia )

Shark Attack Related Incident News Archive for 2011 Shark Attacks and Related Incidents.

03/21/2011 Dave Pearson ( Australia )

Postby alb » Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:36 am

COOPERNOOK resident, Dave Pearson is recovering at John Hunter Hospital today after being attacked by a shark at "southside" beach, Crowdy Head on Wednesday night.

Shark attack at Crowdy back beach: it all happened so fast
25 Mar, 2011 01:00 AM

Aaron Wallis and Crowdy surf club caretaker Adam Eady on Crowdy back beach yesterday, the morning after Dave Pearson was attacked.
David_Pearson.jpg (708.64 KiB) Viewed 5526 times

COOPERNOOK resident, Dave Pearson is recovering at John Hunter Hospital today after being attacked by a shark at "southside" beach, Crowdy Head on Wednesday night.

Dave paddled out with two mates and was keen to try out a new board, but he never could have expected what happened next.

At around 6.45pm Aaron Wallis who has known Dave for years and was surfing just 15 metres away, heard a loud noise that "sounded like fibreglass snapping."

"It all happened so quickly, just so fast," recalls Aaron.

"From what I can remember the shark launched itself from underneath his board and virtually landed on top of him."

Following the impact the animal headed back under water and Aaron began yelling to Dave, asking what happened and if he was alright.

"I said, 'that was a shark wasn't it' and started alerting everyone else in the water and asking someone to come and help," says Aaron.

"Then I started paddling over to Dave but he told me not to come over because the shark was still there."

Aaron says although he desperately wanted to catch the next wave in, instinct kicked in and he stayed to help his mate.

"You just have to, he couldn't paddle himself at the time so I went over, but the whole time you're thinking 'shit this thing's still here'."

Aaron takes his hat off to Dave for the way he handled himself in the situation, staying calm and talking the whole way to the beach.

The two then started weighing up their options.

"First I told him to try and paddle in himself but he just couldn't, then I thought he could hold on to my leg and I'd drag him with me but he was too weak to do that as well," tells Aaron.

"So I started pushing him and then paddling after him, before a big set came in that would take him through the trough and then I knew we'd be alright.

"He could hardly hold on and he got pretty pummelled on the way in but once we got past that trough there were people waiting for us."

Aaron said Dave stood up and was lucid and talking to him when he used his leg rope as a temporary tourniquet around his arm.

He says the shark didn't actually bite Dave but has left a deep cut in his arm.

"I think he'll be fine, it didn't bite him but the force of it has cut him and more than likely broken his arm.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he's got a few broken ribs as well, it hit him pretty hard."

Dave was taken up to a picnic table that overlooks the beach where people were waiting with towels.

Some quick thinking also alerted Adam Eady, caretaker at the Crowdy Head Surf Club to the situation and he was over in no time with some oxygen and first aid to help.

A lifesaver himself, Adam assessed the situation and was confident that Dave would be alright.

"He's pretty lucky, it could have been a lot worse, but he should be fine," says Adam.

"But it wasn't the best time to be out there, right on dusk and there's plenty of fish around at the moment."

Crowdy Head is just coming in to their busy mullet season and schools of fish have been hanging around the beaches for the last few weeks, bringing sharks with them.

Adam said the beach had to be closed about three weeks earlier due to a shark sighting and several fishermen have reported seeing schools of hammerhead sharks in recent times.

Aaron yesterday agreed it was a bad time to be in the water.

"Yeah, it was stupid, we stayed out there too late," he says.

A pack of ambulances and police cars arrived at the scene at about 7pm before the Westpac Rescue Helicopter turned up to fly Dave to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital.

Intensive care flight paramedic Alan Payford treated Dave on the beach and said he had lost a lot of blood in the water but was in a stable condition.

"(Dave) said the shark hit him so hard it felt like a freight train," Mr Playford said.

However Mr Playford praised the actions of the people on the beach, saying they "saved his life".

"A lot of people die from losing that much blood, but the makeshift tourniquet was able to stop the bleeding," he said.

Dave received surgery to his arm at John Hunter Hospital yesterday morning and was in recovery at around 11am.

Although Aaron was 'pretty rattled' yesterday, he says he's still keen to get back in the water and he's certain Dave will be too.

"Yeah for sure, I guess it's like getting bitten by a snake in your back yard, you're still going to go out there aren't you."

"I probably won't go surfing at dusk on my own though," he laughs.

http://www.manningrivertimes.com.au/new ... torypage=0
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