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Surfer defends wife from shark attack on Mid North Coast

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  • Surfer defends wife from shark attack on Mid North Coast

    The Sydney Morning Herald

    A surfer has jumped onto a great white shark and repeatedly punched the animal as it attacked his wife on the NSW Mid North Coast.

    Chantelle Doyle, 35, was attacked by the two- to three-metre shark at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie on Saturday morning, sustaining "severe lacerations" to her right leg.

    Her husband jumped off his surfboard and onto the juvenile great white when it refused to release her.

    “This fella paddled over and jumped off his board onto the shark and hit it to get it to release her and then assisted her back into the beach," Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce said.

    “Pretty full on, really heroic.”

    Bystanders and paramedics treated the woman at the scene before she was taken to Port Macquarie Hospital. She was then flown to Newcastle Hospital to undergo surgery. She remains in a stable condition.

    NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Andrew Beverley praised the bystanders who performed first aid on the woman.

    "They did an amazing job before we arrived," he said.

    Saturday's attack is the third on the Mid North Coast in recent months, NSW Ambulance said.

    Fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville was killed north of Coffs Harbour in July. The teen died after being attacked while surfing at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach.

    Mr Pearce said the region had experienced an unusual amount of shark activity this year.

    “It has been an unusually busy period for shark encounters on the Mid North Coast," he said.

    “This time of year, coming out of winter, that’s when the whales migrate and you get more shark activity following the whales migrating.”

    Several beaches around the Port Macquarie area would be closed for at least 24 hours, including Shelly Beach, Main Beach, Towns Beach, Tacking Point and Nobbys Beach.

    “Our thoughts are with the young lady who was injured in the shark attack this morning, and we’d like to praise her fellow surfers who came to her aid so quickly,” Mr Pearce said.

    The area was patrolled by drones, jet-skis and inflatable rescue boats to help spot the shark and assist the NSW Department of Primary Industries on Saturday afternoon.

    The shark was sighted by emergency services some time after the attack, but its whereabouts were unknown by Saturday evening.
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