16 C
Byron Shire
October 18, 2021

Shark attack survivor says he will surf again

Latest News

Privately owned, but still ‘sacred site’ – Nimbin church burns to the ground

Last night at around 9pm, St Patrick's Catholic Church in Nimbin burned to the ground.

Other News

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 12 October, 2021

Check out what's on at the cinema this week in Ballina and Byron

Natural Resources Commission using ‘propaganda’ to log koala feed trees sat NEFA

The North East Forest Alliance says that the assertion by the Natural Resources Commission report that logging of koala feed trees doesn’t have any impact on koalas is ‘dangerous propaganda’.

Police call for busking ban, backed by Byron mayor

Have you noticed that the streets of Byron Bay have been a less tuneful and colourful place in the past week or so?

Anti-DV umbrellas launched in Ballina

Rotary have partnered with NSW Police to design and distribute 150 umbrellas with a very clear message: 'Say NO to domestic violence'.

Outcry over closure sees two Tweed Council libraries reopen their doors

Library branches at Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah will reopen for limited hours from today, after Tweed Shire Council agreed to fund the additional cost of administering the NSW Government’s latest public health order.

Lismore landmark saved as Skimmo’s site DA knocked back

Lismore residents watch avidly last night as the drama of a development application for 135 Union Street South Lismore, played out on their little screens.

Sam Edwardes, before the attack. Photo supplied

Byron Bay shark attack survivor Sam Edwardes says he hopes to surf again – but it will be a while.

Sam, who had a ‘big chunk’ taken out of his thigh by a juvenile white pointer at Belongil beach on Sunday February 17, is recovering after major surgery and before he heads into weeks of intensive rehab.

He credits his quick-thinking friends for his survival along with a yoga breathing technique he believes slowed his metabolism down enough to cope with the massive blood loss he sustained.

Sam and Dane. Photo supplied

Sam had paddled out with his friend Dane Davidson at around 6.30 in the morning.

‘I got out there first – Dane was on his way out – and within 10 seconds of being out there I was sitting on the board and felt this massive bump. It attacked me from the side – I didn’t see it coming,’ he told The Echo.

‘It was smashing me around for about five seconds – and had an intensely tight grip on me, gnawing into me.

He said the shark left as quickly as it came.

‘It got what it wanted – it took a big chunk out of my leg and off it swam.’

Not realising how big the bite was, Sam headed back to shore ‘fairly frantically’, together with Dane.

‘When we got to the beach, I looked down to check my wound and that’s when I saw the extent of the bite and the damage – and it was pretty horrifying to be honest.’

‘Dane and a couple of other surfers – Beaver and Mark, who I didn’t know beforehand – tourniqueted my leg with two leg ropes and a huge amount of pressure. They saved my life, honestly.

‘We were on the beach for about 15 minutes before the ambulance got there. And they kept me alert – I was losing vision and my breathing was very laboured because of the blood loss.

‘They just lay with me for about 15 minutes and just comforted me. It was a very calm, almost surreal atmosphere.

‘They did a brilliant job, those guys.

‘The breathing exercises that I practised for years and years at yoga partly saved my life as well. I was just doing this beautiful, mediational breathing. I swear to god it is what was keeping me calm and keeping my body working through all of that.’

When the ambulance did arrive, it took about three minutes to ferry Sam to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, where life-saving blood supplies were waiting.

‘When I got to the helicopter I’d lost so much blood that they couldn’t get a blood pressure reading so they put me straight onto blood transfusions.

‘I ended up having ten blood transfusions and two platelet transfusions.’

Sam was taken into theatre where they first cleaned up the wound and then repaired it with plastic surgery in one very long operation.

Sam says the wound is recovering ‘very well’.

‘I’m very lucky in that the shark just missed my sciatic nerve and my femoral artery. And it just missed my knee.

‘The recovery is looking great,’ he said, adding, ‘it is forecast to be quite swift and straightforward.’

But he admits it will be a while before he can walk, let alone surf, again.

‘I’ll be in hospital for probably another week, then a couple of weeks of intensive rehab and then a few months of continuing rehab – but I should be able to get back to work within about six weeks.’

Sam says he thinks he will go back into the surf, saying his attack was sheer bad luck.

‘I’ve been surfing most of my life. You could argue you shouldn’t go out too early in the morning but a lot of attacks happen in the middle of the day as well.’

Sam said he felt ‘deeply appreciative of everyone involved in helping me, from the guys on the beach to all the people in the hospital’.

‘I feel so privileged to be living in a country where medical help can be so amazing and so available,’ he said.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

XR plans two weeks of ‘Reclaim our Future’ protests

Extinction Rebellion Lismore is part of the Northern Rivers push to highlight the issue of climate change and a march and candlelit vigil last night was the start to a fortnight of ‘Reclaim Our Future’ protests.

Phone scam – Just.Hang.Up.

Crime Stoppers says that almost 90 per cent of Australians have received at least one nuisance or unwanted call every week

Anti-DV umbrellas launched in Ballina

Rotary have partnered with NSW Police to design and distribute 150 umbrellas with a very clear message: 'Say NO to domestic violence'.


The truth doesn’t mind being questioned. A lie does. Margot Hays, Bangalow