A man almost lost his arm after he was attacked by a shark off the coast of Western Australia.
Robbie Peck, 38, was attacked by a 9ft long bull shark whilst he was spearfishing off the shore of Port Headland. The incident occurred on Friday morning after Peck had caught a fish, according to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
The father of three was diving for the catch whilst on a boat with his five-year-old son, a friend and his brother-in-law. Peck was around 11 kilometres off the coast when he was attacked by the predator at 11.30am. Those on the boat acted quickly to stop the bleeding as they made a tourniquet with a weight belt. According to witnessed the male was bitten up to three times – on his shoulder, underarm and hand as he suffered major injuries.
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Those on the boat acted quickly to stop the bleeding as they made a tourniquet with a weight belt. Peck was stretchered to an ambulance by a team of police, paramedics and strangers once he got back to shore. He was then rushed as a priority to Hedland Health Campus.
Peck was then taken to Perth for emergency treatment. Port Headland Mayor Peter Carter told 9News : "It's tragic. No-one wants to lose an arm or leg when they go spearfishing. It's very unusual, we don't normally get shark attacks in Port Hedland. They're very, very rare."
Stats prove that shark bites in Australia are rare with an average of 12.5 incidents occurring a year over the past decade. Deaths have also decreased since the 1990s.
So far in 2022 there have been nine shark attacks, according to the Shark Incident Database maintained by the Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Flinders University and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.
This year there has been one shark-related fatality in Australia – at Sydney’s Little Bay in February. Shark attacks are either classified as provoked or unprovoked. Spearfishing is considered the result of a provoked bite, as the release of fish blood attracts sharks, whilst activities like surfing are not considered provoking a shark.
Several shark species that live in Australian waters are protected. This includes the white shark, which is the most common type of shark associated with injuries in Western Australia. It is a vulnerable species according to commonwealth conservation laws.
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