A snorkeler attacked by a shark off Australia’s east coast swam to shore with the predator still gripping his leg and then drove to a lifesavers’ club to have it removed.
Australian Luke Tresoglavic, 22, was snorkeling on a reef off Caves Beach, about 75 miles north of Sydney, when a wobbegong shark about 2 feet long bit him just below the kneecap and held on.
“The shark just wouldn’t budge so he held onto it as it was thrashing around and swam to shore,” Tresoglavic’s mother, Caroline, told Reuters on Wednesday.
“It still wouldn’t let got so he got into his car and drove up to the lifesavers’ clubhouse nearby for help. Luckily he didn’t panic or he could have ended up in trouble in the water.”
Lifesavers removed the shark by hosing it with fresh water, but its minute, razor-like teeth left about 70 puncture marks. Tresoglavic then drove to hospital, but turned out not to need stitches, just a course of antibiotics.
The Tresoglavics buried the dead shark in their garden. Wobbegong sharks, are also known as carpet sharks because of their color, can grow up to 10 feet long and are unique to Australian waters, the national parks authority says.
Two species -- the banded and the spotted -- live in the waters around the state of New South Wales, and are known to scientists as Orectolobus ornatus and Orectolobus maculatus respectively. It was not known which type attacked Tresoglavic.