Page last updated at 16:15 GMT, Sunday, 14 February 2010

Australian grandmother beats off attacking shark


Paddy Trumbull: "I turned around and saw this huge shark"

An Australian grandmother has survived a shark attack by repeatedly punching and kicking the animal after it "ripped off" part of her body.

Paddy Trumbull, 60, suffered deep bite wounds and lost a huge amount of blood in the incident while snorkelling near the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland.

Doctors say Mrs Trumbull is fortunate to be alive after suffering such a ferocious mauling.

At hospital, she joked about now having to get a "remodelled bottom".

Speaking from her hospital bed to local media, she said that while snorkelling from a chartered boat with her husband and others, she felt "the most almighty huge tug" and "knew immediately what it was".

Injured Paddy Trumbull lying on her stomach on a stretcher
Paddy Trumbull, lying on her stomach, lost 40% of her blood in the attack

"I turned around and I saw this huge shark."

Mrs Trumbull said: "I then thought 'this shark's not going to get the better of me' and I started punching it on the nose, punching, punching, punching.

"And then it got me under the water, but not much because I started kicking at its neck."

She said she had "a bit of a tug of war" with the 1.5m (5ft) shark, knowing that it had ripped her flesh as she could see blood, but she felt no pain.

She was pulled on board the boat and given first aid, before being airlifted to Mackay Base Hospital where she underwent surgery.

Surgeon Mark Flanagan said: "We can estimate that she lost about 40 per cent of her blood volume from the degree of shock that she had when she came in, and the fact that we required to give her several units of blood."

Mrs Trumbull said she was happy to be alive. "I think they're going to get me a counsellor on Monday, to sort of sort it out, and I have to have a new, remodelled bottom, so that's a positive."

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