Hero’s punch saves woman mauled by shark
A 35-year-old woman has escaped with only severe lacerations to her leg after a shark attacked her off Port Macquarie on Saturday morning.
She was mauled about 9.30am on Saturday at Shelly Beach. The shark bit the woman's right leg, but she still managed to make it back to shore.
Police were told the woman and a man were surfing when she was bitten on the right calf then the back of her thigh. Her companion was "forced to punch the fish until it let go", according to a statement from police.
Officers attached to Mid North Coast Police District are working with NSW Fisheries to identify the species.
Bystanders did their best to assist before emergency services arrived, according to local reports.
Three Ambulance NSW crews, a specialist medical team via the Westpac Rescue Helicopter along with one inspector attended the incident.
"This is the third serious shark attack on the north coast over the last few months," a NSW Ambulance spokesman said.
"The patient suffered severe lacerations to her right leg."
Paramedics were on scene within eight minutes.
"The bystanders on scene that rendered assistance should be commended. They did an amazing job before we arrived," the spokesman added.
Despite severe leg injuries, the patient was rushed to Port Macquarie Base Hospital in a stable condition.
The helicopter met crews at Port Macquarie Hospital with the Helicopter Critical Care Medical Team on board.
All beaches in Port Macquarie were closed by ALS Lifeguards and surfing and swimming was not advised for the remainder of the day.
This latest incident comes after a string of shark attacks in recent months, including one which saw a boy, 10, pulled from a boat by a shark in Tasmania.
The boy's father reportedly jumped into the water to save his son after it ripped him from their fishing boat in Stanley, northwest Tasmania.
The shark reportedly swam off once the boy's dad jumped into the water.
Last month, a 15-year-old surfer lost his life after his legs were mauled by a shark at Wooli Beach on the NSW mid north coast.
Another two surfers made a lucky escape after a shark was caught on camera stalking them back to shore at Bells Beach.
Originally published as Hero's act as woman mauled by shark