’Just bone and flesh’: Horrific account of shark attack
A woman who rushed to the aid of a man who was savagely attacked by a shark at Lake Macquarie has described the "horrendous screams" as the swimmer was dragged to shore and revealed his first words as he lay there bleeding.
Judy Jones, 71, was having a drink with friends at her waterfront home at Yarrawonga Park when she heard the first cries for help about 6.30pm on Saturday.
"The screaming, it was horrendous actually," Ms Jones said. "(They were saying) 'Call an ambulance'. We just took off and ran straight down. By the time we got down there he was out of the water and his wife was holding his arm together.
"His arm … there wasn't much of it together still … (There was) a lot of blood. His wife is a doctor so she was incredibly efficient."
Police were told the man, 58, and his wife, 56, were swimming about 40m offshore when the man was bitten on the left arm. His wife helped drag him to shore.
Ms Jones said she ran home to get a first aid kit and then attempted to put a tourniquet around the wound.
"(His wife) was holding his arm together and I was just trying to put (the tourniquet) around it. It was just bone and flesh.
"He was very calm and conscious. He said 'It was the size of me.'"
Ms Jones and neighbour Lauren Miller said dozens of people swam in the area throughout the day as the mercury nudged 30C.
It is believed to be the first shark attack in Lake Macquarie in decades.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Grahame Rathbone said bystanders did a great job applying a tourniquet. "This was potentially lifesaving," he said.
The man was airlifted to Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital for surgery.
Originally published as 'Just bone and flesh': Horrific account of shark attack