Surfer walks 500m for help after shark attack
A surfer is in a serious condition after being attacked by a shark yesterday at Brooms Head in northern NSW.
Mr Mark Butler, 40, a father of three who teaches at Yamba Public school, managed to escape after the attack and walked to get help from nearby residents.
He suffered lacerated legs and blood loss during the attack 4.15pm attack, an ambulance spokeswoman said.
His 15-year-old son, David, who surfed at the same beach earlier in the day, said his father was surfing alone when attacked.
"He was surfing and this shark came up and bit him once and took off," David said.
"Dad then went in [to the beach], tied his leg rope around his leg to stop the bleeding and walked up the beach to the nearest house to get help."
One local resident said Mr Butler had to walk about half a kilometre up the "back" beach track to get help.
"It's a pretty hard walk, and he was still conscious and everything when he got there," she said.
"The fire chief and a woman wrapped his leg up to stop the blood and put it all back in and all, then the ambos arrived."
David said his father had not revealed what type of shark had attacked him. "There's sharks, but they're never aggressive sharks, there's only ever small, placid sharks, nothing scary ever," he said.
"Nobody's really sure what type of shark it was. It might have been a tiger shark going by the shape of the teeth marks on his board."
David said he had been assured his father was recovering well.
"We don't really know about his leg, but I've been told everything is OK. It's just a matter of how much damage he's done to his leg." David said the attack would not him or his brother and sister, Joe and Emma, off surfing.
"It won't even put Dad off. He's too keen."
Mr Butler was airlifted to Lismore Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
There have been about 19 shark attacks in Australia in the past five years.
On November 6 a 49-year-old man was killed and another injured by a suspected great white shark at Perth's Cottesloe Beach.
In December a bronze whaler ripped open a man's arm at Sykes Reef near Heron Island off central Queensland.