herald

Monday 26 September 2016

Hero who saved pal after shark attack up for Oz bravery award

Irishman Shane (left) and his Australian pal Dale
Irishman Shane (left) and his Australian pal Dale

An Irishman who saved his friend's life after he was attacked by a shark has been nominated for a prestigious Australian award.

Wexford man Shane de Roiste is up for a Pride of Australia award for the bravery he showed after Dale Carr was attacked by a great white.

In August last year, best friends Shane and Australian Dale were surfing 200 metres from shore off Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie in New South Wales, when the shark bit in to Dale's thigh and buttocks.

The father-of-two was seriously injured during the "intense and ferocious" attack, but thanks to Shane he lived to tell the tale.

To thank him, Dale put his surfing buddy forward for a Pride of Australia award.

The horrific bite mark from the great white shark
The horrific bite mark from the great white shark

"When I first saw the fin, I thought it was a dolphin," Shane told the Herald.

"Dale actually shouted shark straight away. I guess being from Wexford I didn't comprehend what a shark can do so quickly.

"It was an intense and ferocious attack. It really is like you see in the Jaws movies; the person is just shaken around."

Dale screamed at Shane to get out of the water, but Shane said he couldn't leave his friend.

"Dale had been punching the shark but it was like hitting a brick wall.

"He then cleverly jammed his thumb in the shark's eye, and the shark swam away," he said.

Shane linked their bodyboards together and paddled back to shore.

At this point he was losing a lot of blood, but Shane's quick-thinking kept Dale alive until the paramedics arrived.

He dragged his friend up the beach and told passers-by to call an ambulance.

"I realised Dale had some shoe laces connected to the fins of his board, and I was just delighted because I had nothing to work with. I used the laces to hold his leg together until the paramedics arrived."

Dale lost 2.5 litres of blood that day and stopped breathing twice in hospital.

"We're blessed in that we have the best hospital in Australia right up the road from where it happened."

But the vicious attack didn't deter the two from getting back in the water.

"We went back surfing about six weeks after the attack," Shane said.

Fantastic

Just last week, Shane got a phone call from his pal telling him to come down to the beach for a photoshoot, but it was just a ruse to get him to the beach.

"I didn't have a clue what it was for. He told me it was for gay monthly magazine," he laughed.

It was only when the photographs were published in Australia's Daily Telegraph did Shane realise his buddy had nominated him for the award.

"It's fantastic to be nominated, it really is, but ultimately all I care about is the fact Dale is still here," said Shane.

Successful nominees will be told by November of their win.

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