Allan Countryman was in the waters off Yeppoon in Central Queensland, Australia when the incident occurred.
He had just speared a coral trout fishing around lunchtime near the Rosslyn Bay resort and as he began to return to the boat a school of mackerel surrounded him.
The nearly 10 foot shark grabbed Mr. Countryman’s right arm and as he began punching the shark, it bit his left hand.
Even though his injures were substantial, Countryman was able to return to the boat where he was helped by friends.
Snorkelers James Harrison and family heard the screams and were able to assist the Countryman onto their boat and administer first aid.
Mr. Harrison was able to provide first aid while his wife Katrina dialed emergency services and their son located the GPS co-ordinates to relay to the Coast Guard.
Thankfully a volunteer Coast Guard boat was in the area doing a training run and was able to transfer Mr. Countryman on-board and took him to the Rosslyn Bay Harbor docks and alert paramedics.
Coast Guard Deputy Flotilla Commander Paul Florian told The Morning Bulletin “If the RMH Rescue wasn’t out there training it would have meant a time delay, the situation is all very lucky,”
“The people on the (Coast Guard) vessel conducted themselves well; they all felt that it was fantastic to be able to help someone in need.”
Mr. Countryman was transported to Rockhampton Base Hospital where he is in stable condition.
Statement from the Countryman family:
Allan would like to reinforce that he was doing what he loves – fishing with mates, enjoying the Keppel and its surrounds. Fully aware of the risks involved acknowledging they were in the shark’s domain.
It was a case of mistaken identity and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Allan and Tresna, Bob and partner Donna, Shane and Catherine and their young families would now like to take the time to recover from this traumatic experience in privacy.
This is the first reported shark attack of 2016 and the type of shark has yet to be determined.
Australia has many types of sharks including great whites, tigers and bulls. However in this case it may be possible the shark involved was a bronze whaler.
Bronze whalers (aka copper sharks) will often hunt in groups surrounding fishes into balls and then take turns swimming into the ball with mouths open.
The location has been marked on the 2016 shark attack bites tracking map.
Incident occurred Jan 3.
Thanks to Steve Mitchell for the info!!