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February 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Available to the Public Vol. 43, No. 2   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Eight-Hour Ordeal for Shark Attack Victim, Craig DeWit

from the February, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

On January 21, Aussie Craig DeWit, skipper of the Papua New Guinea-based liveaboard Golden Dawn, was attacked by a 13-foot (4m) bull shark while diving in the remote waters of the Torres Strait, between North Queensland and PNG. It took more than eight hours to get him to a proper hospital for treatment of his severe wounds.

"It was a case of mistaken identity," the 54-year-old said, recovering from surgery in Cairns Base Hospital. "It hit me like a truck, it came with such force, out of nowhere. It chomped down, and as it was shaking me I looked into its jaws and eye. It was a big shark."

"Its jaws went from my left wrist to the top of my bicep, and into my chest and stomach. I tried to push it away with my right hand, but then it spat me out and swam off. The water was full of blood. I thought I was mortally wounded."

His wife, Camilla, was in the water close by when the attack happened.

He suffered injuries to his hand, chest, and stomach. His friend, a trained paramedic who was on board, performed first-aid to stem the bleeding and saved his life. However, it took five hours to reach Murray Island, and bad weather meant it was an additional three hours' wait for a rescue helicopter to evacuate him to the Thursday Island medical center for treatment and then on to Cairns.

DeWit has been bitten by a shark before. He says, "Twice bitten, and still not shy. I love sharks; I think they are amazing creatures. The chances of this happening are about the same as being hit by a lightning strike."

(Source: Courier Mail)

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