Shark attack victim: `Don't kill them'
January 16th, 2009
SHARK victim Jono Beard has spoken for the first time about the day a great white bit a chunk from his leg, missing a vital artery by just 2cm, while surfing off Fingal Beach, south of the Gold Coast.
Walking with crutches and a heavily bandaged left thigh, the 31-year-old Brisbane machine driver said today that Sunday's attack was so violent he was lifted out of the water, as though he were riding a bull.
Mr Beard said he knew from the great force and strength of the animal which had `come up from the deep' and sunk its teeth into his thigh that it wasn't a bull shark.
``I never thought it was a bull shark because of the way it lifted me from the water,'' he said.
Mr Beard leaves Gold Coast Hospital today and, in light of his speedy recovery, is expected to be able to surf in about one month.
Clearly exhausted from five days in hospital and the emotional ups and downs of realising the full scale of what could have gone wrong, Mr Beard said he looked forward to seeing his dog aka and hitting South Stradbroke Island, but probably would not surf at Fingal.
Mr Beard said he held no malice towards sharks and while he agreed some rogue predators should be killed, he did not agree with culling.
``I was in his territory, a national park, with no nets. It was his playground and I was in his turf,'' said Mr Beard.
Mr Beard said he planned to have one of the animal's teeth laid in silver and would also frame the bitten surfboard in his room in New Farm, where he lives with his grandmother.
Speaking to a media pack, Mr Beard said he left Brisbane early last Sunday morning to surf with his Cairns buddies at Dreamtime Beach, one of their favourite spots.
The tide was high, the water a dark green and dolphins jumped between the waves, creating a sense of security.
Mr Beard said he was about 100m out and waiting mindlessly for a decent wave when the great white struck, lifting him out of the ocean and then five seconds later, leaving.
Trying to brush away the animal and managing to stay on his board, Mr Beard said at first it didn't register what what happened.
But as `buckets of blood' began turning the water red, he knew.
``It didn't register at first, it was like a burning sensation before the agony,'' said Mr Beard.
``Then the sea turned red like a Jaws movie.''
As he paddled frantically to shore his leg felt as though it was `hanging off' and all the while his greatest fear was that the shark would return for a second attempt and rip him to bits.
He made it about half way back to shore on his board, holding his legs in the air, before he was dragged from the surf by his mates, who tied his bleeding his leg with a leg rope and torn rashies.
Mr Beard said he knew from the blood flow that he was going to be all right and was thankful to all who ensured that was the case, including locals on the beach, the ambulance, CareFlight and police crews, his mates and staff at Gold Coast Hospital.
Head of orthopaedics, Dr Don Pitchford, said the fact the patient made it to hospital so quickly meant speedy treatment and recovery.
Although no arteries, nerves or bone were damaged in the attack, Dr Pitchford said the bite was only 2cm from a vital artery leg which, if severed, would have left Jono dead.
http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/200 ... -news.html