'Nearly chopped off': Spearfisher fighting for his life after shark almost severs his arm in bloody attack
PORT HEDLAND, AUSTRALIA: A shark attack on a remote Australian coast nearly severed a fisherman's left arm. The man was spearfishing offshore from Port Hedland in Western Australia on October 7, Friday when he was attacked by an unconfirmed shark species.
St John's ambulance service was called at about 11.30 am following the boating accident involving a man in his 30s.
The man's left arm was "nearly chopped off," according to a Royal Flying Doctor Service spokesman, and he had several wounds.
He was treated by paramedics after being brought to land by boat at 11.30 am, and was subsequently transported to Hedland Health Campus under priority one circumstances.
According to the WA Country Health Service, the patient's status at Hedland Hospital is stable.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene earlier on Friday. A crew will be dispatched from Meekatharra to pick up the man in Port Hedland. It was expected that he will arrive at Perth Royal Hospital for treatment on Friday evening, October 7.
Surf Life Saving WA announced a shark sighting on their social media, on Friday, October 7 at 11.40 am.
DPIRD Fisheries officers are currently coordinating an incident response due to a shark incident near Port Hedland. See more: https://t.co/FfwKHLDI2M— Surf Life Saving WA (@SLSWA) October 7, 2022
The Western Australian Fisheries Department advised people to take extra precautions in the Port Hedland area and check SharkSmart WA, SharkSmart WA app, or Surf Life Saving WA's Twitter feed for shark activity.
The incidence of shark bites in Australia over the last ten years has averaged 12.5 bites per year. There has been a decline in fatalities since the 1990s.
The Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Flinders University, and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries' Shark Incident Database shows that nine shark occurrences have occurred across the country thus far in 2022. However, there has only been one shark-related fatality so far this year - at Sydney's Little Bay in February.
The shark database categorizes incidents according to whether they are provoked or unprovoked. Since blood attracts sharks, injuries sustained during spearfishing are considered provoked bites, while attacks that happen during surfing are not.
There are several shark species that call Australian waters home, including the white shark, which is frequently associated with injuries in Western Australia. The species is protected as a vulnerable species under Commonwealth conservation legislation, reported The Guardian.