A man has revealed how he dramatically saved his surfer girlfriend as a monster great white shark tried to eat her.
Chantelle Doyle, 35, opened up about the life-changing wounds caused by the predator’s teeth – which clamped onto her leg as she surfed off Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia.
Early on during the “sunny and beautiful” day, the couple took to the crystal clear water with Ms Doyle saying nothing appeared out of the ordinary.
But then the tragedy struck.
Chantelle and her boyfriend Mark Rapley, 37, who saved her by punching the huge shark on the nose, relived the terrifying attack in an interview on This Morning.
Mark came to the rescue and hit the shark until it swam away, but he admitted it was hard, like “punching a brick wall.”
Chantelle said: “The shark grabbed my leg when I was still in the water and it was like a sudden vice clamping around my leg, so it wasn’t really painful, it was just a lot of pressure.
“And then I just grabbed the board and I pulled myself onto it.”
At that point, Chantelle let out a chilling scream and her brave boyfriend dived into the water to save her from the 10ft beast.
She said: “I don’t know how, but I actually pulled the shark a little bit with me because when Mark arrived, when I saw him in the water next to me.
“I was like ‘Oh my gosh, what are you doing? Get out of the water!”
Mark said he was able to pull himself onto Chantelle’s board after he caught sight of the fin and the sharks head near her leg.
He said: “[The shark’s] nose was out of the water so I could rain punches down on it.
“It feels like you’re punching a brick wall, like it’s hard.
“So, I just ditched the board, to just start whaling punches… It was just, just throw as hard as I could until it lets go, because you sort of, just want it to be gone.
“[I was looking] dead-set in the eye. That memory sits with me a lot, a black eye.”
He said he aimed his punches at the sharks nose because “it’s more sensitive.”
I can’t move or feel my right leg and they say it’ll take maybe 300 to 400 days for my nerves to regrow and then we will know what will happen to my leg.
His strategy worked with the blows causing the shark to let go and swim away and he was able to get Chantelle to shore.
Chantelle’s knee, calf muscle, tendon, bone, cartilage and nerves were all damaged.
But crucially not her arteries, which could have meant she bled to death.
She explained: “I have my nerves cut in two places and partially severed in two places.
“I can’t move or feel my right leg and they say it’ll take maybe 300 to 400 days for my nerves to regrow and then we will know what will happen to my leg.”
She added because she was an environmental scientist, she understands why sharks were important and that she still loves them.
Bystanders and paramedics treated Chantelle on the sands before she was taken to nearby Port Macquarie Hospital by air ambulance.
She was later flown to Newcastle Hospital where she underwent round upon round of specialist surgery.
Surfer Peter Lobb described hearing her chilling screams as she was being attacked while sitting on her surfboard in the shallows of Shelly Beach.
“It was unbelievable, the scream was incredible and there was splashing everywhere,” another witness Jed Toohey told The Daily Telegraph.
“He (Mark) saved her life…it would have been strong enough to take her out to sea. He was really incredible.”
Bathers on the beach then applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg to try and stem the bleeding
“Chantelle kept saying, ‘I’m okay’. She was so calm and relaxed. But then her leg started to get numb,” Mr Lobb revealed.
The attack is the third on the Mid North Coast in recent months, NSW Ambulance said.
Fifteen-year-old Mani Hart-Deville was killed north of Coffs Harbour after being savaged in July
He died after being attacked while surfing at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach.