Shark attack victim: 'Water just exploded around me'
HAVING a shark nearly rip his hand off, then undergoing surgery to re-attach five tendons, is not going stop Noosa paramedic Dan Moore from finishing a family holiday to Bali.
The former Spit, Mooloolaba, lifeguard on Monday was forced to fight off a 4-6 foot shark that ripped into his right hand.
Dan was attacked while taking a short break, lying on his board, hand in the water, on his way to an outside main peak a long way from shore at Balian on Bali's south-west coast.
"The water just exploded around me," he said.
"At first I didn't realise what happened. It was just instinct to smack it."
Dan punched furiously at the shark with his left hand until it released him.
"I thought at first it took my fingers," he said. "My whole hand just collapsed. I was a fair way out and couldn't paddle.
"Maxy (Dan's 15-year-old son) caught a wave and paddled straight over and started to push me in."
Gary Emanuel, Sunshine Beach builder and family friend, also arrived on the scene to help him to shore.
"The pain was excruciating," Dan said. "My hand was contorted. I thought it had broken my wrist.
"We had just rocked up with my family and a mate and were heading out for the main peak which was just coming on.
"My wife and daughter were by the pool .... 15 minutes later you would not credit it.
"It was a spin out for my daughter (Hayley)."
On the beach the luck that allowed him to survive the attack held and he was soon in the care of a nurse who utilised Dan's own well-stocked first aid kit and other supplies.
"She did an awesome job," he said. "She dressed the wound and splinted the hand and even got antibiotics."
With the hand splinted the pain faded.
"We got plenty of good advice straight away," Dan said.
The first piece was to call an ambulance that was able to negotiate the heavy traffic on the busy major arterial road which carries traffic flowing from Java to the west into Kuta and Denpasar.
The second was for Dan's wife Kristina to ring their insurance company during the hour and a half trip.
It meant they were taken straight into the BIMC Kuta private hospital on arrival.
Again there his luck held.
A micro-surgeon just back from 12 months further training in Sydney was available and able to undertake the necessary surgery to re-attach the tendons.
"I can't complain about the service," Dan said.
"I felt comfortable with the surgeon who had trained in Sydney. The biggest threat was infection from the water and he said there were all sorts of nasties in the shark's bite.
"The care I've got from the hospital, nursing staff and doctors has been awesome. I'm lucky to still have my hand. I'm thankful for that."
Out of hospital Dan has returned to the family's accommodation in Seminyak and has already spoken with former Brisbane Bronco strength and conditioning coach Dan Baker who has a villa on the island.
He sees the surgeon, who has honed his skills repairing the damaged limbs of holiday makers after motor scooter accidents, today and to get the okay to fly.
But the family is going nowhere just yet, not due to return home until next Thursday.
"I'm just going to hang out," Dan said. "I can't complain about the service.
"It won't stop me coming back to Bali."
Dan said media reports he would never return to the island were inaccurate but not as much so as various Indonesian press which had condemned him to death in one case and the loss of all his toes in another.