A surfer who was nearly killed when she was mauled by a great white shark before her partner hit him in the eye said the shark “just wanted to eat her.”
Chantelle Doyle, 35, was surfing with love of her life Mark Rapley on Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, on the north coast of New South Wales, when she was attacked at about 9:30 am on August 15.
The beast clung to Mrs. Doyle’s right calf and the back of her thigh before Mr. Rapley sprang into action, striking the predator eight times.
Mr. Rapley quickly became a hero across the country as he jumped on the shark’s back and fended it off until he finally let his partner go.
Chantelle Doyle, 35, was surfing with her partner Mark Rapley on Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, on the mid-north coast, when she was attacked around 9:30 am on August 15.
The beast clung to Mrs. Doyle’s right calf and the back of her thigh before Mr. Rapley sprang into action, striking the predator eight times
Chantelle Doyle, 35, (pictured) was surfing with her partner on Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, on the north coast, when she was attacked around 9:30 am on August 15.
Ms. Doyle has finally spoken publicly about the horrific incident and has spent the 12 days since her attack speaking to shark experts and conservationists.
“They said he might just want to eat me,” she said The Guardian.
On the morning of August 15, Ms. Doyle, an environmental scientist, had decided to take a break from her PhD to surf with her partner.
As the 35-year-old paddled closer to shore, she said something hit under the plank with “enough thrust” to throw her off the ground.
“I just thought -” whale or shark “- and I looked down and there was nothing gray. I felt something grab my leg – I think I was shouting “Shark, shark, shark,” said Mrs. Doyle.
She desperately grabbed the plank and felt the beast wrap its jaws around her leg three times.
Ms. Doyle said the bite was painful but felt like more of an ‘intense pressure and pinching and crushing’.
Mr. Rapley had been ten yards from her and was paddling over as soon as he saw Mrs. Doyle being thrown off her plate.
Heroic partner Mark Rapley (pictured) hit the shark in an attempt to save his beloved partner Chantelle
Once he was three feet away, he saw the shark and slid off his board and onto Mrs. Doyle’s back before hitting him repeatedly with his right fist.
He said the shark’s flesh felt hard like a professional punching bag and he was terrified to see Ms. Doyle’s entire leg wrapped around the predator’s mouth.
Between eight to 10 punches later, the shark finally gave in by releasing the 35-year-old’s leg and swimming away.
During the entire ordeal, Mrs. Doyle had not seen the shark once and said the adrenaline made her whole leg feel numb from the pain.
It was like this heavy weight was hanging from the back of my leg. Like a bag of concrete. It felt like it was getting carried away to me, ”she said.
Once on the sand, a nurse who had watched the scene rushed to the wound to tourniquet the wound with the leg rope of Mrs. Doyle’s surfboard.
Chantelle Doyle is mauled by a huge shark on a popular beach on the New South Wales coast
The young couple have a three-year-old son who they are raising in Cromer on Sydney’s Northern Beaches
The ambulance arrived quickly, but the parking lot was 700 meters away, forcing Mr. Rapley and four others to carry Mrs. Doyle on a surfboard as a stretcher for 20 minutes.
At one point they dropped her on the sand because the blood had made the surfboard slippery, but Mrs. Doyle joked by saying, ‘I’m only 60 pounds, what’s wrong with you?’.
She was rushed to Port Macquarie Base Hospital but moved to the greater city of Newcastle and John Hunter Hospital. On Tuesday she was moved to a hospital closer to Sydney.
The shark had severed the nerve in Mrs. Doyle’s leg below the knee and still has limited sensation in the area.
Mrs. Doyle is expected to have more surgeries after already having two major ones.
Shortly after the attack, Mr. Rapley told the media about his experiences in the water and insisted he was not a hero.
The 35-year-old was taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital with serious leg injuries, but has since flown to Newcastle where she will undergo surgery.
“I knew she was going to be in trouble … I just started paddling over it and you respond,” Mr. Rapley said.
“When you see your child’s mother, your support and everything you are, you just respond, you just think, ‘get off that calf, get off.”
“You don’t think” hit “, your body just responds … you start hitting, you start thinking where to hit, I attack the eye.”
Mr Rapley said the other surfers and the people on the beach were the real heroes because they worked to save his life as well as Ms. Doyle’s.
“Two guys paddled right up to her behind me, and that’s not their wife,” he said.
“ I don’t like that (hero) title, but I’d love it if he went around with the collection of people who have done a great job keeping her alive – and she’s alive. ”
Mr. Rapley and Mrs. Doyle have been together for nine years and are not married.
The 35-year-old woman was surfing on Shelly Beach (pictured) in Port Macquarie, on the north coast, when she was attacked on August 15.
They have now started a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the Australian Marine Conservation Society as Ms. Doyle wants people to treat the planet better.
With the hashtag #punchingforhealthyoceans, the couple hopes to educate people about the importance of sharks.
“We received a lot of interest and generous statements of support after our Shark meeting on August 15,” said the fundraiser.
“Yes, the story is true and scary and will mean major life changes during recovery.”
“If you’d like to provide some support, we recommend making a small donation (about $ 30) to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, which combines science and conservation to promote ocean health.”
‘Healthy oceans mean a better future for everyone and that depends on apex predators: sharks.’