Swimmer survives vicious shark attack
A YOUNG woman has survived a shark attack north of Sydney after the creature grabbed her face and dragged her under the water.
Lisa Mondy was waiting for a boat to pick her up after coming off her wakeboard in Port Stephens when t he shark struck.
‘‘( It) grabbed hold of her face,’’ Newcastle Rescue Service helicopter crewman Glen Ramplin said.
‘‘ It’s got her a second time on the left upper arm and it’s pretty much taken her arm off.
‘‘ The bite on her arm is all the way to the bone.’’
The 24-year-old was wakeboarding with friends off Jimmys Beach, on the northern side of Port Stephens, when the attack happened.
She was conscious but in a serious condition when she arrived at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle yesterday afternoon.
She has severe injuries to her head, shoulder, neck and l eft arm, but a hospital spokeswoman said she was stable by about 5.30pm.
Ms Mondy works for Port Stephens Parasailing, a leisure company with offices in Nelson Bay.
Owner Ian Cutbush said his son had been wakeboarding with Ms Mondy using one of the company boats when the attack happened.
‘‘ I just had a heart attack myself when I learnt what happened,’’ he said.
Witnesses said Ms Mondy was dragged under the water twice, before being rescued by her boat crew and taken to the Nelson Bay public wharf.
Paramedics stabilised her at a nearby oval.
According to her Facebook page, Ms Monday is a fan of Sharkwater, a movie that ‘‘ debunks historical stereo- types and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters’’.
Ms Mondy, originally from Wauchope, is also a fan of diving, kitesurfing, sandboarding and surfing.
One of her friends who was waiting outside the hospital said she was a shark lover.
‘‘ She is aware of them, cares about them deeply,’’ he said. ‘‘ They’re an animal in the sea. We have to share their home.’’
Nelson Bay, a popular fishing area, is known for tiger and bull sharks, although there have been sightings of great whites.
Ben Morcom, 31, was attacked by a two metre-long great white shark in 2007 while surfing at Jimmys Beach.
STABILISED: Shark attack victim Lisa Mondy is taken from a helicopter into a Newcastle hospital