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Fisherman fights off shark after it attacked him just 300m from beach

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A Far North Queensland spearfisher says he thought he was going to die after being attacked by a shark while diving in shallow water off the coast.

Phillip Brown, 24, was spearfishing for barramundi about 300 metres from the beach at Yarrabah on Saturday when he came head to head with a bull shark.

He said: "I knew what was going to happen, I knew it's a bull shark – he's gonna have a go at me.

"I was still a long way from the rock so I tried to swim a bit faster.

"Just as I grabbed the rock he came up from behind and grabbed my leg.

"I thought that was my last day because I'm nothing much and he was a big shark."

He went on: "I grabbed my little spear gun, spun around and stabbed him in the top of the head with the gun and he took off."

Phillip hauled himself onto a partially submerged rock but the shark had not given up the chase.

"He kept circling and kept coming back because I was losing a lot of blood. He came back two or three times trying to have a go, but I was right up in the shallow with my foot out of the water."

  • Surfers menaced by huge shark make mad dash for the shore in dramatic footage

Brown said he called out to friends and family on his boat nearby and created a makeshift bandage with his nephew's shirt and a tourniquet with the anchor rope once onboard.

On their way back to land they were faced with a low tide which restricted access to the beach.

"Because it was my boat I just said to my mate, 'Just keep going, brother – drive it through the mud. Just get me to the bank'," Brown said.

"We got close enough for them to carry me up and chuck me in the back of the truck and take me up to hospital."

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Brown received immediate treatment at Yarrabah Hospital and was then flown to Cairns Hospital where he underwent surgery.

He says he will be back in the water once he has recovered from his weekend ordeal.

"I go a lot of places diving – Batt Reef, Tongue Reef, all the outer reefs.

"And then I get torn up at home, right in my own front yard – it was just the wrong place at the wrong time I guess.

"I'll be going back diving, but I won't be diving back at home. I'll just go back out to the reefs, in the clear water."

Brown remains in hospital awaiting further surgeries to his leg.

  • Shark Attacks
  • Sharks
  • Fishing

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