On Monday, there was a bull shark attack in Lizabeth Bay, Sydney. Lauren O’Neill was attacked by a shark at her home in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney. The 29-year-old microbiologist came home from work and decided to take a swim in the Harbour, by her Billyard Ave apartment. She moved to the area a few months ago and has been known to swim and kayak in the water. On Monday, after going in, she was attacked by a bull shark. She sustained serious injuries to her right leg.
O’Neill’s neighbor, Michael Porter, heard her “soft yell” before coming to her aid. He said that he saw Ms O’Neill pull herself from the water and she looked weak. “She didn’t have much strength and there was a whole pool of red blood in the Harbour.” Once she was out of the water he called the emergency personnel, and other neighbors came to her aid as well. One of the neighbors was a vet and came to help. Porter said, “They were wrapping and piecing her leg back together … it was an absolutely horrific injury.”
Police and ambulance came soon after and took the woman to St Vincent’s Health Australia. At the hospital, the surgical staff performed a marathon surgery on her right leg to save it.
Bull Shark Attack Victim Survived
Lauren O’Neill released a statement thanking everyone for their efforts. She thanked her “heroic and very kind neighbors” for their assistance. She also is “immensely grateful to the NSW Ambulance paramedics and Kings Cross Police for their swift and caring actions at the scene.”
O’Neill also thanked the specialist surgical teams for saving her leg and her family, friends, and colleagues for their support.
The injuries that O’Neill sustained were very serious but she has made a full recovery and is resting at the hospital. She asked the public for her and her family’s privacy as she recovered.
While there are hundreds of bull sharks in the harbor, it’s very rare to hear about a bull shark attack. The last bull shark attack was in 2009 when a Navy man lost his arm. While the public was warned about staying out of the water Sydney councilor Linda Scott said the accident won’t deter many of them. She said, “Sydney residents do love swimming in Sydney Harbour. There are local swimming groups around Potts Point and Elizabeth Bay that meet regularly to swim.” She went on to say, “Sydneysiders embrace our beautiful harbor but do so knowing it’s a marine ecosystem.”