Chantelle Doyle was viciously attacked by a 10-foot great white shark Saturday morning. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the strike happened while she was surfing at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, Australia. Though she survived, Doyle had severe lacerations throughout her right leg. Many attribute her survival to the swift action of her husband.
Mark Rapley was surfing with his wife when she was suddenly knocked off her surf board. A shark had bitten her at least twice, and was not letting go. Rapley immediately responded.
“When you see the mother of your child, and your support, everything that’s who you are, so you just react,” Mark Rapley told KTRK. “Your body reacts to saying get off, get off. So you start punching it, you start thinking amazingly where to punch it and so you’re like, ‘I’ll just attack the eye,’ or whatever. You just start thinking differently.”
Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive, Steven Pearce said “This fella paddled over and jumped off his board onto the shark and hit it to get it to release her and then assisted her back into the beach.”
He went on to say it was “Pretty full-on, really heroic.”
Bystanders help get woman to medical aid
Other surfers helped Rapley pull his injured wife ashore. 10 News First Sydney reported “Paramedics treated 35-year-old Chantelle Doyle at the beach before she was later airlifted to a major hospital. She has since undergone more than nine hours of emergency surgery to help repair nerve damage.”
Luckily, medical staff believe she will keep the limb. Reports state “There were no signs of impact to major arteries, meaning it is unlikely she will lose her leg.”
As a result, local beaches were closed for 24 hours. Although shark attacks are statistically rare, there have been 13 in Australia this summer. Would you fight a great white shark for your significant other? Sound off in the comments below!