Albany, WA shark attack: Great white bites spearfisher at Goode Beach near Mistaken Island

Luke Pascoe (pictured) survived the attack thanks to his best mate's quick-thinking first aid training


Teen attacked by five-metre great white shark admits he is only alive today because his quick-thinking best mate piggybacked him 2km across sharp rocks to get him to hospital

  • Luke Pascoe, 17, praised his mate who saved him after a great white shark attack 
  • He’d been spearfishing off Goode Beach in southern WA near Albany on Monday 
  • He’d speared a fish while diving and was attacked by the shark as he ascended 
  • Friend Conner Shirley created a makeshift tourniquet to stop the bleeding
  • He carried Luke on his back across rocks for 2km to his car then drove to hospital
  • ‘I owe my life to him…was thinking to myself how lucky I am to still be here’

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A teen has praised his best mate after he carried him across sharp rocks for more than 2km to get him to hospital after being attacked by a huge great white shark in Western Australia. 

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Luke Pascoe, 17, had been spearfishing off Goode Beach, near Mistaken Island in the southern WA town of Albany on Monday when the attack occurred.

Luke had speared a fish in 10m deep water and was ascending when the blood from the fish drew the attention of a five-metre-long great white.

The shark, trying to eat the fish, instead took a chunk out of Luke’s leg as he headed towards the surface. 

His quick-thinking mate Conner Shirley created a makeshift tourniquet and tapped in to his first aid knowledge to use his dive belt to stop the bleeding.

‘Conner was the one that helped me up onto the rock and he piggybacked me 2km along the rocks back to the car and drove me to hospital,’ Luke told the ABC.

‘I owe my life to him. I was lying in bed last night and I was thinking to myself how lucky I am to still be here.’ 

Luke Pascoe (pictured) survived the attack thanks to his best mate's quick-thinking first aid training

Luke Pascoe (pictured) survived the attack thanks to his best mate’s quick-thinking first aid training

His injuries included three lacerations to his lower legs.

Luke was in good spirits on Tuesday as he sat in his hospital bed at Albany Health Campus and said the adrenalin from the attack meant he didn’t feel the pain of the bite. 

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The teen said he understood the risks involved with spearfishing and didn’t feel any ill will towards the shark. 

‘It’s more my fault than the shark’s fault,’ he told the ABC. 

Luke said he was focused on his rehabilitation and was keen to get back into the water.

Luke was attacked just off Goode Beach in Albany

Luke was attacked just off Goode Beach in Albany

Luke was attacked just off Goode Beach in Albany

The attack comes amid a rise in shark incidents across Australia.

In March, a swimmer was rammed by a 3.5metre great white shark as he was swimming 150 metres offshore from Melros Beach in Perth’s south, but managed to escape unscathed.

And in February, British expat Simon Nellist was mauled to death by a 4.5metre great white shark during his daily swim off Little Bay in Sydney’s east.

It was the first fatal shark attack in Sydney in almost six decades. 

Animal welfare expert Lawrence Chlebuck said most shark bites on humans were a result of them mistaking them for seals. 

‘Normally they bite something to figure out what it is,’ Mr Chlebuck said.

‘Once they realise it’s a person and not a normal prey item, they take off.

‘The vast majority of shark bites are a “one and done” occurrence.’

He said most great white shark bites were by juveniles, seeking the energy from seal blubber to sustain their hunter-killer lifestyle.

‘They are still trying to figure out their changing diet as they switch from fish, as young sharks, to seals and marine mammals,’ he said.

‘Great white sharks are obviously large predators that expend a lot of energy so they need a lot of high energy food and the blubber of a seal is perfect for that.

‘Skinny little bony human beings are not – and that’s why we are not a normal prey item.’

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