Heroic Husband Saves Wife’s Life By Punching Shark Off New South Wales

by : Lucy Connolly on : 15 Aug 2020 18:31
Heroic Husband Saves Wife's Life By Punching Shark Off New South Wales 9News

A heroic husband has saved his wife’s life after she was mauled by a great white shark on the New South Wales coast, punching the predator repeatedly until it let her go.

Chantelle Doyle, 35, was surfing with her husband Mark Rapley at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie when she was attacked at around 9.30am earlier today, August 15.


The shark took hold of her right leg, biting her calf and the back of her thigh until Mark realised what was happening and leapt into action – jumping on the animal’s back and punching it in a bid to save her.

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Emergency services rushed to the beach where Chantelle, who has a three-year-old son with husband Mark, was found with significant lacerations to her right leg.


When they arrived, the mother had already been carried to shore on a surfboard with beach-goers using a makeshift tourniquet to stem the blood loss.

‘The immediate first aid, the immediate support assisting the patient from the water was quite amazing,’ Andy Beverley from the NSW Ambulance Service told 9News.

husband saves wife by punching shark9News

One surfer described hearing a piercing scream from Chantelle, who had been sitting on a her surfboard in shallow water when she was attacked.


Another witness, Jed Toohey, told The Daily Telegraph, as per Daily Mail Australia, the scream was ‘incredible’ and there was ‘splashing everywhere’.

He described seeing Mark putting his wife on his board before punching the shark because it would not let her go. ‘He saved her life,’ he said. ‘It would have been strong enough to take her out to sea. He was really incredible.’

‘It would be his natural reaction to get in there and do what he can,’ James Turnham from the Australian Lifeguard Service said. ‘It did take a bit of effort to get that shark off her.’

man saves wifes life by punching shark9News

Once emergency services arrived, Chantelle was rushed to Port Macquarie Base Hospital with serious leg injuries, but has since been flown to Newcastle in NSW where she will undergo surgery.

The extent if her injuries are not yet known, but our thoughts are with her as she embarks on her road to recovery.

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Lucy Connolly

A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).

Topics: Animals, Australia, New South Wales, Now, rescue, Sharks


Nine News Sydney/Twitter and 1 other
  1. Nine News Sydney/Twitter


  2. Daily Mail Australia

    Hero husband fights shark to save his wife's life as she's mauled by a great white that left her with wounds so severe she had to be airlifted to hospital