Pro surfer Brett Connellan seriously injured in shark attack in Australia

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 April, 2016, 11:11am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 April, 2016, 11:11am

Professional surfer Brett Connellan was mauled by a shark off Australia’s east coast on Wednesday evening, an attack that left Connellan in serious condition with wounds to a thigh and hand.

“I was about 50 metres down the beach from Brett,” fellow surfer Joel Trist said on Thursday. “The first thing I saw was Brett getting thrashed around in the water and a terrible scream. On instinct, I paddled as hard as I could towards him. I actually lost sight of him at one stage.”

Connellan lost three quarters of one of his thighs in the attack, The Sydney Morning Sun reported.

“He had lost a large proportion of his left thigh, and the quad muscle was torn away right down to the bone,” Terry Morrow, an officer with the New South Wales’s Illawarra ambulance district, said.

Trist reached Connellan, 22, moments after the attack.

The first thing I saw was Brett getting thrashed around in the water and a terrible scream
Surfer Joel Trist

“Obviously, I knew what had happened,” Trist said. “I said to him, ‘What’s it like?’ He said, ‘It’s not good.’ At that point I knew something was horribly wrong. I grabbed him, got him on to my board.”

Once on shore, Trist used Connellan’s surfboard leash as a makeshift tourniquet in an attempt to stop the bleeding in Connellan’s injured thigh. Trist also screamed out for help to contact medical responders.

“At that phase, he was fading in and out of consciousness,” Trist said. “With the loss of blood and in shock what had happened, I was saying, ‘Mate stay with me. I’m here. There will be help coming.’”

Connellan was transported by helicopter to St George Hospital, according to the New South Wales police.