A surfer who was struck by two great white sharks simultaneously last year recently shared his harrowing story, detailing the incredible first of its kind attack that cost him both arms.
Sean Pollard was surfing at a remote beach near Esperance in Western Australia last October, when he felt a strong bump, the harbinger of a life-changing incident about to take place. A great white shark struck at his board before taking a bite out of his leg, after which Pollard attempted to paddle calmly to shore, trying not to agitate the shark. The great white took up a position behind him, however, quickly accelerating in for the kill.
“I spun around to try and face it. It just moved so quick. That’s when it come up out of the water, I didn’t even see its teeth. It took me like across, and its eye was right there in front of me. Its eye was the blackest black I’d ever seen, and that’s just a vision that’s burnt into my mind. I can’t get it out, just this cover going over its eye as it bit down on me.”
With both of his arms in the white shark‘s mouth, Pollard was dragged underwater, as the massive predator began shaking him. Holding his breath as the shark thrashed about, Pollard reached the surface amid a sea of blood, only to find he had lost a forearm to the great white.
— PerthNow (@perthnow) February 15, 2015
Astonishingly, the surfer’s nightmare didn’t end there, as he felt another bump, signaling the terrifying presence of a second great white. The double attack was the first of its kind ever reported in the world, leaving Pollard reeling just 50 meters from the shore. Making his way to the shallows, Pollard collapsed as his girlfriend Claire Oakford looked on in horror.
“It had ripped my forearm off and, like, sucked the meat off my bone, like a chicken bone pretty much.”
Transported more than 700 kilometers before he reached a hospital, Pollard spent seven weeks recovering from the injuries he sustained in the dual shark attacks. Now, months later, he relates that he sometimes finds himself grieving for his old life, pointing out that his existence has dramatically changed since the day he encountered the great whites.
“Some mornings you just don’t want to get out of bed and face it, but then again some days when you’re doing something nice I think, you know, it’s pretty good that I’m still here to be able to enjoy this.”
Following the attacks on Pollard, authorities deployed baited drumlines, killing a large great white, though it was unclear if the shark was one of the two responsible for the incident.
[Image: 60 Minutes via Perth Now]