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Underwater fisherman’s brother, beaten to death by a shark on Fraser Island, reveals his last moments

An underwater fisherman’s brother, torn by a shark, said he saw his “best mate” die in his arms from horrific injuries.

Matthew Tratt, 36, was attacked by a suspected great white shark on Fraser Island on Saturday afternoon while spearfishing with his brother Rob Tratt.

Mr. Tratt managed to drag his brother up the rocks on the headland, where bystanders and a doctor and nurse on duty tried to revive him for nearly an hour.

Other fishermen helped pull him out of the water and applied a tourniquet to his severely torn left leg before the ambulance arrived.

Mr. Tratt saw his brother bleed to death, but said Matt died doing what he loved.

“My brother, he died in my arms and did his favorite passion – spearfishing. And I don’t think I could have been with a better person, ”he said 9News.

Rob Tratt's (photo) brother Matthew, 36, died in his arms after being torn by a shark while spearfishing on Fraser Island on Saturday

Rob Tratt’s (photo) brother Matthew, 36, died in his arms after being torn by a shark while spearfishing on Fraser Island on Saturday

Matthew Tratt (right), 36, was attacked by a suspected great white shark on Fraser Island on Saturday afternoon while spear-fishing with his brother.  Shown with his wife Kayla

Matthew Tratt (right), 36, was attacked by a suspected great white shark on Fraser Island on Saturday afternoon while spear-fishing with his brother.  Shown with his wife Kayla

Matthew Tratt (right), 36, was attacked by a suspected great white shark on Fraser Island on Saturday afternoon while spear-fishing with his brother. Shown with his wife Kayla

Mr Tratt, an air-conditioning contractor from Buderim, leaves two children and his wife Kayla (right)

Mr Tratt, an air-conditioning contractor from Buderim, leaves two children and his wife Kayla (right)

Mr Tratt, an air-conditioning contractor from Buderim, leaves two children and his wife Kayla (right)

“He’s an outdoorsman and a family man … he lived a good life and went out spectacularly.”

Mr. Tratt said he looked away for a split second before Matthew was attacked by the shark.

He then frantically dived down, but couldn’t get deep enough.

“It just lay on the bottom and I looked away for a moment and you know it’s all happening. He just said to me, “There has been a shark attack,” and I said, “Are you okay?”, “Said Mr. Tratt.

Mr. Tratt said he didn’t realize a shark was attacked until they surfaced and Matthew told him.

Before the attack, a fisherman asked the couple how they could know that sharks were abundant in the area.

“If I thought about it, I would probably just get too scared and not go into the water. We entered those waters and fully knew what the risks were, it’s just part of life, ”said Mr. Tratt.

The brothers and their families visited Fraser Island after their vacation abroad was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Matthew, a Buderim air-conditioning contractor on the Sunshine Coast, leaves behind two children and his wife Kayla.

Matthew’s friend Wayne Stievano and fishing buddy said he wish he had been there to save him.

“I still can’t believe you’re gone Matthew Tratt,” he posted on Facebook.

“You were taken too early, you always had my back in the water, I wish I could have been there today to have yours.

“We love you and miss your friend until we meet again, rest ass buddy.”

Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk in Queensland described the death as “cruel” and expressed her condolences to his family.

“It is another reminder that, especially around that Fraser Island area, many sharks and great whites live,” she said Sunday.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the local community was deeply saddened by the tragedy.

An ambulance emergency team was shot down by a rescue helicopter, but Mr. Tratt's injuries were too serious and he died on the spot

An ambulance emergency team was shot down by a rescue helicopter, but Mr. Tratt's injuries were too serious and he died on the spot

An ambulance emergency team was shot down by a rescue helicopter, but Mr. Tratt’s injuries were too serious and he died on the spot

Matthew Tratt, 36, was attacked by a shark at Indian Head on Saturday around 2 p.m. while spearfishing with his brother.  Shown with his widow Kayla

Matthew Tratt, 36, was attacked by a shark at Indian Head on Saturday around 2 p.m. while spearfishing with his brother.  Shown with his widow Kayla

Matthew Tratt, 36, was attacked by a shark at Indian Head on Saturday around 2 p.m. while spearfishing with his brother. Shown with his widow Kayla

“This is a very sad day for our community,” Mr. Seymour wrote on Facebook.

“Our deepest condolences go to this young man’s family and friends.

“The loss of a young life with its future ahead of him is a tragedy without words, and we share their grief and sorrow.”

It is Australia’s fourth deadly shark attack this year.

Last month, Gold Coast surfer Rob Pedretti, 60, died after being torn apart by the 10-foot long white shark at Salt Beach in South Kingscliff in northern NSW.

A shark also killed 23-year-old wildlife guard Zachary Robba in Queensland off the coast of North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef in April.

Experienced diver Gary Johnson, 57, was killed in January by a shark off Cull Island in Esperance, on the south coast of Western Australia.

A report is being prepared for the coroner.

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