“The Guy Crawled Out Of The Water, Foot Hanging By A Thread” - Stab Mag

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“The Guy Crawled Out Of The Water, Foot Hanging By A Thread”

Did you hear about the Crescent Head shark attack last week?

elsewhere // Dec 18, 2022
Words by Jesse Starling
Reading Time: 2 minutes

“This has been kept awfully quiet. A grom I know saw it and said the guy crawled out of the water, basically where the flags were. Foot hanging on by a thread.”

In 1975 Steven Spielburg set out to create a fictitious town known as Ammity Island, a small quiet island reliant on tourism and holiday trade to keep businesses afloat. But in the film after a series of fatal shark attacks Ammity was pushed to the brink of closure due to patriots not wanting to go in the water. Fast forward 50 years and almost like it was drawn out of the pages of Steven Spielburgs screenplays, the small New South Wales coastal town of Crescent Head (which is largely reliant on holiday trade) had its own brush with a rogue shark. 

At 4:30 on Sunday the 11th of December a young 15 year old boy came in contact with a shark of unknown species in Killick Creek. The young man was swimming in the opening of the creek between the footbridge and the surf when he was attacked and bitten on his lower leg. 

The young man was immediately rushed to Port Macquarie hospital where he spent the next few days under care. As of Wednesday (14/12/22) afternoon, he was still in hospital however, is on the mend. 

Although the creek opens up into the popular crescent main break, locals have deemed it to be an “unusual place” for a shark attack. Rod McDonagh, Surf Life Saving Mid North Coast President explains that “with a number of recent floods, debris can be released and attract sharks occasionally”. 

With business only just picking up again after a big year of floods, covid restraints and now a shark attack, the main concern for the small coastal town is will this affect the flow of tourism? 

After speaking to one of the members from the local surf shop ‘Crescent Head Surf Co’ she told us that “even after the last shark incident back in 2021 our trade didn’t seem to drop, so we aren’t too worried after this one and business has been great as usual”.  (Cassie Crescent Head surf co) 

Despite 2 shark attacks within less than 2 years, Crescent head still remains one of the East coast’s most popular tourist destinations. The small town is really built to suit everyone, with fishing facilities, FWD tracks, nature reserves and waves to suit surfers of all ages and levels, we’re hoping the recent incident will not deter anyone from visiting this beautiful destination. 


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