A teenager has hailed his best mate after carrying him over sharp rocks more than 2km to get him to hospital after being attacked by a great white shark in Western Australia.
Luke Pascoe, 17, was fishing off Goode Beach, near Mistaken Island in the southern WA town of Albany on Monday when the attack happened.
Luke had plunged into a fish 10m deep and was flying up when the blood from the fish caught the attention of a large white fish 5m long.
Instead, the shark, which was trying to eat the fish, took a chunk off Luke’s leg as he made its way to the surface.
His mate, Conner Shirley, created a makeshift tourniquet and harnessed his knowledge of first aid to use his diving belt to stop the bleeding.
“Conner was the one who helped me up the rock and he carried me 2km along the rocks back to the car and drove me to the hospital,” Luke told ABC.
‘I owe him my whole life. I was in bed last night and I think to myself how lucky I am to still be here. ‘
Luke Pascoe (pictured) survived the attack thanks to fast thinking first aid training from his best mate
His injuries included three lacerations in his lower leg.
Luke was in good spirits Tuesday as he sat on his hospital bed at the Albany Health Campus and said the adrenaline from the attack meant he felt no pain from the bite.
The teenager said he understands the risks involved with spear fishing and does not feel any malice towards the shark.
“It’s more my fault than the shark’s fault,” he told ABC.
Luke said he is focusing on rehabilitation and would love to return to the country.
The attack comes amid an increase in shark incidents across Australia.
In March, a swimmer was gored by a 3.5-metre great white shark while swimming 150 meters off Melros Beach south of Perth, but escaped uninjured.
And in February, British expat Simon Nellist was gored to death by a 4.5-metre great white shark during his daily swim off Little Bay east of Sydney.
This is Sydney’s first fatal shark attack in nearly six decades.
Animal rights expert Lawrence Chlebuck says most shark bites are caused by people mistaking them for seals.
“Usually they bite something to figure out what it is,” Mr. Chlebuck said.
‘Once they realize it’s a person and not a normal prey, they’ll walk away.
‘The vast majority of shark bites are a “once and done” event. “
Animal rights expert Lawrence Chlebuck says most shark bites are caused by them mistaking them for seals.
He said most great white shark bites are caused by juveniles, which seek energy from the seal blubber to maintain their hunting lifestyle.
“They’re still trying to figure out how their diet changes as they transition from fish, as juvenile sharks, to seals and marine mammals,” he said.
‘Great white sharks are obviously large energy-intensive predators so they need a lot of high-energy food and the blue color of the seals is perfect for that.
‘Slender, bony humans are not – and that’s why we’re no ordinary prey.’