Skip to main content

Off-duty surf lifesavers responded quickly to assist a man who was attacked by a shark off Shelly Beach at Manly early Tuesday morning.

Manly resident Peter Schultz was swimming with a small group of people between Sydney’s Manly and Shelly beaches before dawn on Tuesday morning.

The 57 year-old was attacked by what is suspected to have been a shark, receiving serious cuts to his leg, abdomen and hand. He was taken to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital for treatment.

Ken Murphy, a member of the Manly Life Saving Club was part of the group swimming with the man when he was attacked and was able to provide immediate assistance.

While members of the community called Triple Zero, Ken and other Manly club members grabbed the club’s Major Trauma Kit and administered first aid before paramedics arrived.

Ken Murphy said that it was thanks to his fairly recent training as a surf lifesaver that he was able to respond quickly and effectively to the emergency. He said, “The value of the first aid training that you learn with Surf Life Saving and the Bronze Medallion program is fantastic. My message today is very simple; get out and learn some first aid.”

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drone was airborne straight after the attack, flown by Surf Life Saving NSW Chief Pilot and a Branch Duty Officer to try to locate and identify the shark responsible. Westpac Life Saver Rescue Drones continued their surveillance throughout the day but no sharks were spotted.

Surf Life Saving NSW CEO Steven Pearce praised the efforts of Manly club members and said; “If it wasn’t for the swift actions of trained surf lifesavers, the outcome could have been much worse. It’s a testament to their training that they were able to respond so effectively.”

Manly beach has been closed by Northern Beaches Council lifeguards for 24 hours.

There have been five shark attacks or major encounters in NSW in the last 12 months. Three of these were on the far north coast, with one at Manly in November which is believed to have been a Wobbegong. Beaches were evacuated 123 times during the season due to reports of shark sightings.

Tips to Minimise the Risk of Shark Encounters

  • Tell a lifesaver or lifeguard if a shark is spotted near swimmers or surfers.

  • Don't swim too far from shore.

  • Swim in groups.

  • Avoid swimming and surfing when it's dark or during twilight hours.

  • Avoid murky water, waters with known effluents or sewage.

  • Avoid areas used by recreational or commercial fishers.

  • Avoid areas with signs of baitfish or fish feeding activity; diving seabirds are a good indicator of fish activity.

  • Do not rely on sightings of dolphins to indicate the absence of sharks; both often feed together on the same food.

  • Be aware that sharks may be present between sandbars or near steep drop offs.

  • Avoid swimming in canals, and swimming or surfing in river/harbour mouths.

  • Avoid having pets in the water with you.

  • Do not swim/surf near or interfere with shark nets

Source - SharkSmart


Tuesday 2 July 2019