‘I’m still shaky today’: Hero surfer tells of shark attack drama

 

 

A Gold Coast surfer has told how he spotted shark attack victim Nick Slater lying face down in the water - and how he rushed in to the surf to help.

Coolangatta's Jade Parker was about to go out for a surf of his own when he saw Mr Slater lying face down in the water.

He dropped his board and rushed in to the water, but never considered his own safety.

By the time he had reached the victim, two surfers and a surf kayaker had recognised that Mr Slater was bitten by a shark.

Shark attack hero Jade Parker speaks of the moment he paddled out to help save victim Nick Slater. Photo: Sunrise
Shark attack hero Jade Parker speaks of the moment he paddled out to help save victim Nick Slater. Photo: Sunrise

"At first I thought he might just be unconscious or something but when I got out to him it was pretty clear he had been attacked by a shark," he said.

"I just kind of clicked into gear and tried to assist them back to the beach as best I could.

"His leg was in a bad way, he wasn't actually conscious and it looked like he had already pretty much passed away at that time.

"(But) getting attacked myself never even crossed my mind.

"It certainly didn't deter me from trying to help.

"You hear these stories come and go, I've been surfing for 30 years and you kind of have to push it aside."

 

 

Rescuer Jade Parker tried to save Mr Slater. Photo: Scott Powick/Newscorp
Rescuer Jade Parker tried to save Mr Slater. Photo: Scott Powick/Newscorp

 

Mr Parker said when he retrieved the board on the shore he noticed one of the shark's teeth was lodged in it.

"It was a good size bite into the board and it snapped off in the board itself," he said.

A lifeguard and two other surfers helped him bring Mr Slater to shore, but he was unresponsive and could not be revived.

"I'm still shaky today," he said on Wednesday morning.

Surfer Nick Slater, 46, was attacked by a huge shark at Greenmount Beach just after 5pm on September 8.
Surfer Nick Slater, 46, was attacked by a huge shark at Greenmount Beach just after 5pm on September 8.

"I had a pretty horrible night's sleep last night."

Hailing from WA's notoriously shark-infested Margaret River, Mr Parker is no stranger to shark attacks.

"I've known people in WA to be taken by sharks, and I've had a few close calls myself," he said.

The tooth of the great white shark which attacked surfer Nick Slater. Photo: 7/Sunrise
The tooth of the great white shark which attacked surfer Nick Slater. Photo: 7/Sunrise

"It definitely rattles you and it takes a while to push it out of your mind, but you just have to accept that sharks are in the water."

As WA debates shark safety measures, Mr Parker said he did not know if nets were the best or safest option.

 

 

"I think about all the other sea life that gets caught that is not the target of the nets," he said.

"More Tagging to help monitor sharks (is a possible solution) and I'd like to see technology that helps wetsuits sustain or handle a shark bite, like Kevlar or some strong fibre that could hopefully be adopted in the future."

 

Originally published as 'I'm still shaky today': Hero surfer tells of shark attack drama