Australia: Shark attack victim ready to get back in the water - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaShark attack victim ready to get back in the water

14:30  15 april  2019
14:30  15 april  2019 Source:   9news.com.au

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The attack on Mr Bowring follows three others, one fatal, in the Whitsundays late last year, and has reignited debate over the effectiveness of drumlines. There are 173 installed across the Great Barrier Reef. "Ryan was just unlucky enough, that he's jumped in the water , the shark has obviously

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Block Reef is one of the most picturesque places on earth – a diver’s paradise. Below the topaz coloured waters are beautiful walls of coral, littered with tropical fish.

But that allure comes with a potentially deadly risk, sharks. One that nearly took Ryan Bowring’s life three weeks ago.

A first officer aboard a luxury vessel based in the Whitsundays, Mr Bowring had just jumped into the water when he was attacked by what he suspects was a three metre Bronze Whaler Shark.

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"He definitely wants to get back into surfing as soon as he can," Dylan said. He went a couple of months ago and was saying how much he wants to go back ." Although he was unsure how long it would take Andrew to be able to walk properly, Nick said he was coping with the attack mentally.

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Shark attack victim ready to get back in the water © 9news Ryan Bowring says he loves the water too much to be worried about sharks. “Out of nowhere it just felt like I was crash-tackled by a big rugby player or something,” Mr Bowring recounted.

“It didn’t take me too long to realise it was a shark on the other end of me.”

For the first time since the attack, Mr Bowring and I travelled back to the reef where he came face to face with the ocean’s apex predator.

Reaching the reef was a rough three-hour boat ride. Our fishing charter was constantly smashed by two-and-a-half to three metre waves. it was no easy feat for a man still recovering from surgery.

“It's not gonna deter me from hopping back in the water or being out here where I love being,” Mr Bowring told me.

Born in Tasmania, Mr Bowring had been a commercial fisherman for four years. He’d faced ten metre waves in terrible storms.

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"He definitely wants to get back into surfing as soon as he can," Dylan said. He went a couple of months ago and was saying how much he wants to go back ." Although he was unsure how long it would take Andrew to be able to walk properly, Nick said he was coping with the attack mentally.

He is tough but I still witnessed him wince in pain from time to time. His close encounter had left him with 75 stitches, and the dressings were still being changed daily.

Shark attack victim ready to get back in the water © CQ Rescue helicopter Mr Bowring is stretchered from the CQ Rescue helicopter.

Standing aboard our charter, the “Stryker,” in the middle of Block reef, Mr Bowring shows me his scars. The gashes are up to four centimetres deep, ten centimetres long. I’m surprised he can stand.  But with a surprising cool, he takes me back to March 25.

“We'd already been out here for a few days and the weather was beautiful. I was just about to lead a snorkel tour for some of our guests.”

Mr Bowring and a deck hand had been in the water for less than ten seconds when he was attacked, the shark biting across his left thigh, hip and buttocks.

“It had come up for that initial bite. Probably held onto me, felt like a lot longer, but maybe a second or so,” Mr Bowring recalled.

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Neumann said he was spearfishing in about 40-feet of water off the coast of Jupiter on Friday when a bull shark came out of nowhere. “It’s not the shark ’s fault, he got confused, the water was dirty, and things can happen. Neumann said he has no hard feelings against sharks and can’t wait to get back

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“I yelled out a few colourful words followed by 'shark!'”

Bleeding, Mr Bowring and another instructor, screamed for help. Fearing that it would come back any moment. Fellow divers watched in horror from the boat.

“That was probably the worst part, just sitting in the water just waiting and wondering. I can't see anything underneath me, knew something was wrong, you know, I'm probably bleeding, so it's probably heightened its excitement.”

Eventually he made it back to the boat. But 85 kilometres off the Whitsundays’ Coast, it was a 45-minute trip back to the rescue pad at Hardy Reef. He was then winched out by the RACQ CQ Rescue helicopter and flown to Mackay Hospital where he underwent surgery, received blood transfusions, and rehabilitation.

Shark attack victim ready to get back in the water © 9news Block Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef, about 85km from the Whitsunday coast.

The attack on Mr Bowring follows three others, one fatal, in the Whitsundays late last year, and has reignited debate over the effectiveness of drumlines. There are 173 installed across the Great Barrier Reef.

"Ryan was just unlucky enough, that he's jumped in the water, the shark has obviously mistaken him for prey,” said our fishing charter Captain Steven Maguire.

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Sydney's third shark attack victim in three weeks is already planning his next surf trip. Andrew Lindop had a four-hour operation to repair to-the-bone bites on his left thigh and later met up with mates in the Royal North Shore Hospital to plan a surfing holiday in Samoa, the Sydney Morning Herald

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To prove his point, Mr Maguire tried to attract sharks at Hardy Reef, by baiting the water. Not a single shark took a bite or came to the surface.

A week after Mr Bowring was attacked, a court ruled that drum lines could no longer be used to catch and kill sharks right across the reef.

But the Queensland Government has launched an appeal. A Federal Court granting a stay, meaning the Shark Control Program continues unchanged until a final decision is made. Drum lines were returned to the waters over the weekend.

But Shark expert Trevor Long told 9News the drum lines are “not doing anything to save bathers.”

The government, however, is appealing the decision.

Despite being attacked, Mr Bowring doesn’t believe in killing sharks either.

“Putting in drumlines it’s just crazy. They don’t need to be here and we should be doing everything we can to help one of the apex predators of the ocean.

And plans to dive on the reef again, when his wounds are fully healed.

“I love the water too much to be worried about the odd shark here and there or the fact that it might happen it’s the risk you take if you want to do the things you love.”

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