Mark Rapley and his wife Chantelle Doyle were spending the day at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, NSW, when the shark, described as being between 6 and 10 feet tall, attacked Doyle and threw her off his board. surfing, according to the North. South Wales Police. Rapley told the Nine Network that he paddled to his wife’s board as she tried to climb back up as the shark grabbed her right calf.
Rapley grabbed his wife’s surfboard and started hitting the shark until he let go, police said.
“When you see the mother of your child, and your support, all that you are, then you just have to react,” he told the channel. “Your body responds by saying, get down, get down. So you start hitting it, you start thinking amazingly where to hit it and so you’re like, ‘I’m just going to attack the eye,’ or whatever. You just start to think differently. ”
After the shark let go of its leg, Doyle and her husband returned ashore and paramedics were on hand to administer assistance. She was airlifted to a hospital and underwent surgery, police said.
The beach was closed for the remainder of the day as officers and fisheries officials worked to get more details on the attack.
Rapley said his wife was awake and doing better, but the family will have to deal with the fallout from the attack for some time.
“She’s in a very good mood, still strong and hopefully everything is fine from here, but a long road to recovery,” he said.