Sean Pollard was surfing at a remote beach in Western Australia last October when he was attacked by two great white sharks. His girlfriend Claire, was always concerned about sharks and would warn him each day before he surfed to keep a look out for them. She told 60 Minutes “Each time we’d go down to go surfing that’s one of the things that I’d always mention.” Sean however never worried about them, “My way of dealing with it was I believed that they are not real … and I don’t have to worry about it.”
On the morning that he was attacked he had been teaching Claire how to surf. After some time, Claire retired to the sand to sunbake and Sean headed further out into the water to catch bigger waves.
It was only moments later that claire looked up and realised something was wrong as Sean struggled back to shore.
“I’d looked up and could see his board really far out … but I couldn’t see him, that was a bit strange,” Claire told 60 Minutes.
“Then I did see him coming in on a wave like body surfing and he was sort of looking over at me”.
Sean described the moment he was under attack. The shark first took a bite out of his board, then a bite out of his leg and then went for his arms.
“I was trying to paddle calmly so I wasn’t splashing around like I was panicking, but once it got directly behind me it charged through the water. That’s when it really went in for the for the kill. I spun around to try and face it. It just moved so quick. That’s when it come up out of the water, I didn’t even see its teeth. It took me like across, and its eye was right there in front of me. Its eye was the blackest black I’d ever seen, and that’s just a vision that’s burnt into my mind. I can’t get it out, just this cover going over its eye as it bit down on me. It started shaking its head. Both my arms were in its mouth and it just took me underwater. I remember having to hold my breath and just shook its head, like seven or eight times …it’s just the hardest thing I’ve ever felt. It was so strong. ‘…and then next thing I popped up and … there was just blood everywhere. It had ripped my forearm off and sucked the meat off my bone, like a chicken bone pretty much.”
However this was only the first shark that attacked him. Seconds after losing his first arm he felt the ‘second bump’, another great white.
Sean’s double shark attack is the first of its kind in the world to ever be reported. Eventually Sean miraculously kicked his way back to shore. Luckily there were four people on the beach at the time who knew first aid. They used leg ropes and ratchet straps from their car to tornequade all of his limbs. According to paramedics these four people saved his life.
Sean has now had 95 stitches and 45 staples to help heal his body, he has also had to learn how to walk again. He now uses a prosthetic arm to help him get by however there is no doubt that these past four months have been an uphill battle.
‘I find myself grieving for my old life every now and then and what everything I aspired to be before, it’s all kind of changed now. It’s pretty hard some days,’ Sean revealed.
‘Some mornings you just don’t want to get out of bed and face it, but then again some days when you’re doing something nice I think, you know, it’s pretty good that I’m still here to be able to enjoy this.’
Source: 60 Minutes Channel 9