Australia shark attack video: Italian tourist survives, loses leg to ‘monster’ shark
An Italian tourist who lost his leg to a “monster” shark off an Australian beach said he did not believe he would survive the attack.
Matteo Mariotti, 20, from Parma, was snorkelling at 1770 Beach in Queensland last Friday when he was attacked – and immediately started filming.
“I wanted to say goodbye,” he said.
“I never thought I’d survive that monster.”
The marine biology student told Italian newspaper Gazetta di Parma that he went to the beach to clear his head after learning his grandfather had died.
“I needed to relax and I thought about taking a swim not far from the shore, but after a few steps in the water, I felt a terrible pain in a foot,” he said.
The shark soon had his whole leg in its mouth and began to pull him away from the shore as he struggled to free himself, eventually managing to widen the animal’s mouth enough to get loose “even though from the knee down I could tell there was nothing left”.
His video shows his frantic swim back to shore “screaming with fear” as he awaited the shark’s return.
His friend Tommaso Agosti came to his rescue and helped pull him from the water, now rapidly turning red as the stricken student began to bleed out.
Agosti tried to keep his friend calm as he attempted to staunch the bleeding.
He then lifted his mate on to his shoulder and took him ashore, where a helicopter then airlifted him to hospital in Brisbane.
Sharing an update from his hospital bed, Mariotti revealed that he had lost his leg and said that he believed he had a guardian angel that day.
“I no longer have a leg, but I’m alive, my grandfather protected me,” he told L’Unione Sarda.
He has been inundated with messages of support since the tragedy and thanked his well-wishers.
“You are my heroes, you give me strength to carry on with your texts and calls, my only dream is to see you again,” he wrote.
Mariotti’s father Michele told La Repubblica he was on his way to Australia.
“We hope it will be possible to save his left knee,” he said.
“I will be close to him for the time necessary for treatment in Australia, I think it will take more than a month, then we will return to Italy and here we will carry out everything possible so that he can recover.”
A GoFundMe has already raised at least $78,000 for Mariotti, who did not have insurance and faces a hefty bill for his treatment in Australia.
Article written by (NZ Herald, www.nzherald.co.nz. Original article)