Shark mauls 65-year-old and injures his leg off Australia

By The Associated Press | Posted - Sep. 4, 2015 at 3:21 a.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SYDNEY (AP) — A 65-year-old man was mauled by a shark off Australia's most populous state on Friday, but managed to get back on his surf ski and get help for a serious leg injury, police said.

David Quinlivan was paddling a surf ski near the New South Wales state town of Forster, 300 kilometers (185 miles) north of Sydney, when he was attacked, police said. They said he fell into the water but got back on the surf ski and managed to get closer to shore, where bystanders were able to help him from the water.

One of those bystanders, Warren Thompson, said he and others ran into the surf to help Quinlivan.

"He had lost his paddle but was able to climb back onto the ski and caught a wave to the shore," Thompson said.

Thompson added: "It looked to us like he was having a heart attack. When we reached him, he told us to stay out of the water."

Quinlivan was flown by helicopter for emergency surgery to a leg injury. The state ambulance service described that injury as serious.

Two weeks ago, a 38-year-old surfer suffered life-threatening injuries when he was attacked by a shark at Port Macquarie, 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Forster.

Three weeks earlier, a 52-year-old surfer was seriously injured as he repeatedly punched a shark that mauled him off Evans Head, 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of Port Macquarie, in the 11th attack — including one fatality — in five months along a 20-kilometer (12-mile) stretch of northern New South Wales coast.

On Feb. 9, a 41-year-old Japanese tourist was killed around the tourist town of Ballina, also is northern New South Wales. The only fatal attack in Australia since then was in July, when a 46-year-old diver was killed off the island state of Tasmania, 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) south of Ballina.

Sharks are common off Australia's beaches, but fatal attacks are rare. The country has averaged fewer than two deadly attacks per year in recent decades.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

    SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

    Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
    By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

    KSL Weather Forecast