Husband punches great white shark repeatedly to save his wife

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia: Chantelle Doyle was enjoying a Saturday-morning surf with her friends when she was attacked by a 10 foot juvenile great white shark. The shark had grabbed her by her right leg. She instantly suffered severe injuries to her leg. She screamed piercingly. One bystander said that the scream was incredible and that there was splashing everywhere.

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach. Photo: Australian Traveller.

Her husband, Mark Rapley, has been hailed as a hero because he immediately paddled over to his wife on his surfboard and lept onto the back of the shark. He then punched the shark repeatedly. The shark released Chantelle. He brought her ashore and beachgoers applied a tourniquet to the leg. She was airlifted to hospital where she underwent extensive surgery. She is stable.

Mark Rapley’s behaviour has been described as “pretty full on, really heroic” by Steve Pearce, the chief executive of the safety and rescue charity Surf Life Saving NSW.

The shark was later seen swimming with Chantelle’s surfboard in his mouth. There have been five fatal shark attacks in Australian waters in 2020, which is two more than the country’s yearly average.