A relaxed day on the water quickly turned into a nightmare for Broome local Jackson Howson when he was mauled by a shark in March.
The 27-year-old was spearfishing near Coral Bay, north of Perth, with his partner Maddie Naylor-Pratt when the two-metre bull shark attacked.
Enticed by speared fish, the predator lunged forward in the murky water, missing the fish and ripping a 20cm bite wound into Jackson’s calf.
“I looked down and saw the shark grabbing me… then the shock kicked in,” says Jackson, who admits he was “a bit worried” when the shark began to shake him in its jaws. “You’re just hoping it’s going to release you, and when it does that you’re not too injured.”
Fighting for his life, the experienced deckhand and divemaster used his speargun to hit the shark away.
“It held me and shook me around for a few seconds…then it just let go,” Jackson recalls. “I got so lucky.”
With the shark still circling and blood flooding the water, Maddie and Jackson made the nerve-racking 100-metre swim back to the boat.
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