< Pre-dawn swimmer bitten by shark in New South Wales • Tracking Sharks

Pre-dawn swimmer bitten by shark in New South Wales

A pre-dawn swimmer was bitten by a shark while swimming in New South Wales, Australia.

Peter Schultz was with a swim group that included a chief superintendent with Surf Life Saving NSW. As Schultz was swimming across the bay at Shelly Beach June 2, he was bitten by a shark.

The event occurred around 5:45 a.m. when locals on the beach heard someone shouting and saw Schultz leave the water to rest on a rocky bank.

Schultz, an ocean swimmer who has swum across the English Channel, received wounds to his left leg and abdomen, including what appeared to be a puncture wound.

Several bystanders, including an off-duty nurse, administered first aid to Schultz’s superficial wounds.

NSW Department of Primary Industries reviewed photos of the wounds and believe a grey nurse shark, which is also known as a sand tiger, was responsible.

“Grey nurse sharks are listed as critically endangered and it is an offense to harass, harm or threaten them,” an NSW Ambulance spokesman said.

The sharks are considered docile, but are nocturnal and hunt in the dark.

Following shark protocol, the beach was closed for 24 hours and visual monitoring with drones began.

While grey nurse sharks are considered docile, there have been several confirmed cases of nurse shark bites on humans.

Matthew Donaldson, 13, was boogieboarding off Atlantique Beach off New York’s Fire Island, when he was bitten on the leg in July of 2018.

He walked out of the water with a series of puncture wounds on his leg. Doctors removed a piece of shark tooth from the young man’s leg. Researchers at the International Shark Attack file were able to trace the DNA and found that it was from a sand tiger shark.

As of July 2, 2019, there have been a total of 40shark attack bites (37 with injury, 9 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019.

All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.

Five fatal**; 21 were reported in the U.S. (including one fatal), with 7 occurring in Florida (3 provoked), 7 in Hawaii (1 provoked,1 fatal) and 2 in California (1 no injury). Eight have been reported in Australia, zero fatal. Four unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.

*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**not including one possible scavenge

Australia Breakdown:
Western Australia: 1 (0 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed: 0.
Northern Territory: 1 (0 no injury, 1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Queensland: 2 (0 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 2.
New South Wales: 4 (1 no injury, 1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
South Australia: 0 (0 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Victoria: 0 (0 no injury, 0 provoked)), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.

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