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Re: 02/07/2014 - Darren Mills - New Zealand

Posted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 11:25 am
by alb
Shark attack victim's partner watched on
LUCKY' MAN: Shark attack victim Darren Mills in hospital after being attacked by a baby great white shark on Friday night.
LUCKY' MAN: Shark attack victim Darren Mills in hospital after being attacked by a baby great white shark on Friday night.
Darren Mills counts himself lucky.

Lucky to have good friends who managed to think quick enough to put a tourniquet on his leg, lucky that there was a doctor and paramedic on the beach on Friday night and lucky to still have his leg.

Mills was surfing in Curio Bay on Friday night with a couple of mates when his night took a turn for the worse.

He’d been in the water just 30 minutes when he felt a ‘‘huge knock’’ to his board and looked to see a shark with its jaws wrapped around his leg and surf board.

‘‘I felt something just hit me from the beach side. But because I was paddling, I was lucky the shark bit the board. I reckon I could have died.’’

He tried to break free from the shark, shaking his leg and pushing it away.

‘‘I managed to push it as hard as I could. It seemed to let go. I saw it go off and then I realised I was in trouble.’’

Mills shouted for help and to warn his friends who were 30 metres away, and headed for shore where his partner Karen Thomson, had watched the attack take place.

While his friends managed to get the first wave back to the beach, Mills didn’t, and was left in the water hoping the shark didn’t return.

‘‘I was just worried he was going to come back.

‘‘When we got back on to the beach after the shark I was really scared that I was going to die.’’

He got ‘‘dragged up’’ to the beach on his board and his friend managed to put a tourniquet on his leg, while others called for help.

Onlookers on the beach rushed to his aid, including a doctor and a paramedic. ‘‘They stopped the bleeding and felt a pulse in that leg. It was reassuring.’’

Mills was bleeding so much from the four lacerations in his legs that a helicopter was called and he was rushed to Southland Hospital.

It was the longest time of his life waiting for the rescue helicopter to arrive, he said. ‘‘I guess it felt like forever.’’

Mills was not out of the woods though and mid-way through his flight to Southland Hospital he could tell things were not good.

‘‘I could feel the warmth go [in my leg], then my blood pressure dropped.

‘‘I was worried I was going to lose my leg. I got here [hospital] and I was just really happy that I had needles in me.’’

He was rushed into surgery to have the four lacerations sewn up. With ‘‘quite a bit’’ of muscle damage, it was thought Mills would have to have two surgeries, but instead was expected to recover with just one.

Yesterday, he remained in hospital, with stitches up his right leg, where the shark attacked.

Despite still clearly being in pain from the attack and the surgery, he planned to return to the water at some stage.

‘‘When it first happened, I was like, I don’t want to go into a bath tub.’’

Mills and Thomson said they just wanted to say thank you to everyone who helped.

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‘‘They were just so helpful, it could have been just so different. Lucky is just definitely the word.’’

Mills, who is ‘‘really curious’’ about sharks, said he believed the shark was a baby great white. ‘‘I’m pretty sure it was a small great white because of the teeth marks in the board.’’

Conservation Department marine scientist and shark expert Clinton Duffy said it was likely to be a baby great white.

‘‘They are really common.’’ While the small ones didn’t traditionally eat large mammals, they were ‘‘chasing animals’’.

But Duffy said there was little way of avoiding shark attacks.

‘‘Stop surfing, but if you don’t want to do that then avoid areas with lots of dolphins and seals.’’

The only comfort is that, on average there is only about two shark attacks in New Zealand a year, and so far, this is the second attack in Southland.

Re: 02/07/2014 - Darren Mills - New Zealand

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:02 pm
by alb
Surfer punched attacking shark

A surfer being attacked by a shark in a Southland bay punched it in the face to free himself from its grip.

The 28-year-old man was on his board about 50m out from Porpoise Bay Beach, near Curio Bay, about 8.30 last night when the attack happened, police said.

Nick Smart was surfing about 100 metres away and witnessed the incident.

"He was sitting on his surfboard and the shark came up from nowhere and hit him.

"He struggled for a bit and then punched the shark and it let him go."

The man then made his own way to shore before being assisted by a doctor and a nurse, who just happened to be at the beach, Smart said.

They applied a tourniquet and gave him first aid and blankets while they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

The man was surprisingly calm throughout the entire ordeal, Smart said.

"He was totally coherent and talking.

"He was definitely in a bit of pain but he handled it really well.

"His partner was on the beach and she was right there as well so he had a lot of support."
The man's friends believed it to be a sevengill shark, although they couldn't be sure of that, and about two to three metres in length, Smart said.

An ambulance arrived about 40 minutes after the attack and transported the man to Southland Hospital, where he remained in a stable condition today.

The man was bitten three times from his thigh to his calf and there was "lots of blood", a police spokesman said.

The attack was a real shock to everyone in the Catlins area, Smart said.

"Mate, it's the first time there has ever been a shark attack in the Catlins and there has never been a shark attack in this bay.

"There's been so many dolphins in the bay over the last few days as well.

"I've spent thousands of hours in this shore break and the thought [of a shark attack] doesn't even cross my mind... but it does now."

The attack would not put surfers off from returning to the water, with some already saying they were keen to get back out there, Smart said.

"There is no-one out there at the moment but there is people wanting to go out and there will be people out there later today."

Two weeks ago Invercargill doctor James Grant was also attacked by a shark in Southland's Garden Bay.

He fought off what was believed to be a sevengill shark, and stitched himself up before his friends took him to hospital.

02/07/2014 - Darren Mills - New Zealand

Posted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:18 am
by helmi
Media Release
New Zealand Police
Saturday, 8 February 2014
Porpoise Bay shark attack

MEDIA RELEASE (As at 2245hrs, 7/2/14)

At approximately 8.20pm on Friday, 7 February a surfer off Porpoise Bay Beach near Curio Bay was bitten by a shark.

The surfer, a 28 year old man was on his board about 50m out from the beach when the shark attacked. The man received three bite wounds to his leg from his thigh to his calf.

The man was flown by rescue helicopter to Southland Hospital where he is in a stable condition.

The Department of Conservation have been notified. Notices are being put up in the vicinity of Porpoise Bay advising of this attack and requesting people to not swim in this area until further notification from DOC.

Senior Sergeant
Invercargill Police

The parties involved have requested that personal details not be released to the media.

Source: NZ Police