Shark Attack in Sydney Leaves Woman Severely Injured


A woman in Australia has been severely injured after a shark attack during a sunset swim. The 29-year-old, Lauren O’Neill, was bitten on the leg near a private wharf in Sydney Harbour on Monday evening. Local residents provided first aid after hearing her cries for help and she was later taken to the hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Authorities believe a bull shark, a species known to inhabit Sydney Harbour, is behind the attack. This conclusion is based on photographs of the bite marks. Despite the presence of bull sharks in the harbour, attacks are rare.

Michael Porter, a neighbour, told the Sydney Morning Herald that he heard a faint cry for help around 20:00 local time. On looking outside, he saw Ms O’Neill clinging to a ladder on the wharf in Elizabeth Bay, an inner-city suburb, with her leg severely injured.

Another local resident, Georgia Singleton, described how her vet wife applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Singleton told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the injury was severe with a broken bone and heavy bleeding.

A witness mentioned to the Sydney Morning Herald that she often sees sharks under the jetty and had always thought an attack was inevitable.

In 2009, former navy diver Paul de Gelder lost an arm and a leg in a bull shark attack during a counter-terrorism exercise in Sydney Harbour. Australia ranks second to the US in terms of shark attacks, but fatal incidents are rare. In 2023, there were 14 shark attacks with four being lethal, according to the Australian Shark-Incident Database.

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