Australian surfer punches shark to save wife in attack

Emily Goddard
·1-min read
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

A woman has survived a great white shark attack after her husband repeatedly punched the animal until it let her go, according to Australian media reports.

Chantelle Doyle, 35, was bitten on the right calf and the back of her thigh by the 3-metre creature as she and her husband surfed at Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie, New South Wales on Saturday morning.

She was taken to a local hospital with severe leg injuries, but has since been flown to a bigger hospital where she will undergo surgery.

Steven Pearce, the chief executive of water safety and rescue organisation Surf Life Saving NSW, said Ms Doyle’s husband jumped from his surfboard to mount the shark.

“This fella paddled over and jumped off his board onto the shark and hit it to get it to release her and then assisted her back into the beach,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“Pretty full on, really heroic.”

Beaches in Port Macquarie were closed after the attack in an attempt to track the shark.

Mr Pearce said there had been “some really serious and tragic shark encounters over the past couple of months along the coastline”.

There have been five fatal shark attacks in Australian waters in 2020, higher than the country’s average of three deadly attacks a year.

Additional reporting by agencies

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