THE survivor of a shark attack off the Tweed Coast has told he how felt like he was in a Jaws movie as the sea swirled with his blood.
Speaking from the Gold Coast Hospital yesterday, surfer Jonathon Beard recounted for the first time his encounter with what is believed to have been a 4m great white shark at Fingal last Sunday.
Left with a 42cm hole in his left thigh, the 31-year-old Brisbane machine operator has undergone several operations but is on the road to recovery.
He thanked all involved in his rescue, including the mates who dragged him to shore and tied a tourniquet around his leg to stop the bleeding.
"They're mates for life," he said. "Everyone has just been amazing."
He also told how the shark came out of nowhere.
"I didn't see a thing," he said. "It lifted me out of the water and started shaking me like I was riding a bull or something.
"Then I felt a burning sensation and the sea just turned red.
"It was like a Jaws movie."
He said he felt an eerie calm afterwards.
"I don't think I've ever paddled as hard as I did then but somehow I knew I was going to be all right," he said.
"I knew it hadn't hit an artery."
Despite his encounter, Mr Beard said he had no plans to give up surfing, but he was apprehensive about returning to the scene of the attack.
"We're going to get a carton and sit on the beach, but I don't think I will go surfing there again," he said.
He also said he would not like to see sharks killed.
"I agree that perhaps rogue sharks should be killed but I don't think we should go around killing them all," he said.
"I was in his territory."
Donald Pitchford, the hospital's executive director of surgery and critical care, said Mr Beard had been remarkably lucky.
"The shark came within about 2cm of taking out his femoral artery and, if that happened, then by the time he got back to the beach he would have bled out," Dr Pitchford said.
"It looked like a surgical wound. They must have some very sharp teeth. He is going to be all right."
Mr Beard faces more surgery, including possible skin grafts but Dr Pitchford said he could return to the water as early as next month.
Fellow shark victim Zac Golebiowski also said yesterday he held no resentment towards the great white that took his leg "in a split second" at Wharton Beach on the south coast of Western Australia in 2006.
"I was in his back yard," he recalled yesterday.
"Even though it wasn't my fault, the shark didn't know what it was doing. It was just eating something."
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In: News, Other
Tags: John Beard, Great White Shark, Attack, Victim, Surfing, Fingal, Tweed Heads, NSW, Australia,
Location: Tweed Heads, New South Wales, Australia (load item map)
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