Swim­mer sur­vives vi­cious shark at­tack

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

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.

Photo: LIAM DRIVER

STA­BILISED: Shark at­tack vic­tim Lisa Mondy is taken from a he­li­copter into a New­cas­tle hos­pi­tal

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