Swimmer bitten by bull shark in Swan River

Man bitten by bull shark in Perth River

A Western Australian swimmer is in intensive care after being bitten by a bull shark in Swan River.

Cameron Wrathall, 54, was swimming with his friend Richard O’Brien in the Swan River in Bitcon Jan. 14.  Around 8 a.m. he was near Perth’s popular Blackwall Reach, about 4 miles inland, when an estimated 6 1/2- to 10-foot bull shark bit his upper left thigh.

O’Brien struggled as he tried to drag his wounded friend through 15-foot (4.5m) deep water nearly a mile (100 meters) back to shore. Thankfully, a pair of kayakers saw blood in the water and came to aid the men. 

With the help of a paddleboarder, the group assisted Wrathall to an exit point, and used a paddleboard as a stretcher to carry Wrathall to shore.

The location of his large (30cm) wound did not allow the group to place a proper tourniquet, but one of the kayakers used his shirt to tie around the injured man’s wound to stem bleeding.

Wrathall, the father of two children, thankfully, was revived using CPR before being taken to Royal Perth Hospital for emergency surgery.

He is currently listed in critical but stable condition, and is intubated. He is scheduled to have vascular surgery tomorrow.

Shark attacks in the river are so rare that the last fatal attack occurred around 100 years ago.

The location has been marked on the 2021 Shark Attack Map. 

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