Shark attack closes Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach

Other News Materials 13 February 2009 06:38 (UTC +04:00)

It wasn't rain on Friday that cleared swimmers and surfers from Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach but the fear of another shark-attack victim being dragged up Australia's busiest strip of sand, dpa reported.

A 33-year-old surfer was left with his hand "hanging by a small piece of skin" after being mauled by a shark at dusk Thursday.

It was the first recorded shark attack on Bondi Beach since a schoolboy lost his life there 80 years ago. The mauling came 36 hours after a dawn shark attack at a naval base in Woolloomooloo in Sydney Harbour on a 31-year-old Australian Navy diver, who lost his hand and whose right leg might still require amputation.

Fellow surfer James McIntosh told national broadcaster ABC of his horror when he got to the beach.

"That can't be his arm ripped off there, or his hand? I went in closer, and sure enough his hand was hanging by a small piece of skin," McIntosh said, recalling that a man he knows only as Glenn thought he was about to die.

"He said to me - this was when I first grabbed him - 'tell my wife, Lisa, that I love her, she's pregnant.'"

McIntosh fashioned a tourniquet from the injured surfer's leg-rope to staunch the bleeding from his arm.

Local official Sally Betts said that Bondi Beach would be closed to swimmers and surfers until it is declared safe.

"We'll be working with the police and the authorities to make sure the whole beach is searched," she said.

Amazingly, McIntosh said he would be back in the Bondi surf as soon as he could, reasoning that the risks of a shark attack were very slim.