News

Shark bites diver at Lamont Reef

Gladstone freediving champion John Pengelly was yesterday bitten by a three metre bull shark while diving at Lamont Reef.
Gladstone freediving champion John Pengelly was yesterday bitten by a three metre bull shark while diving at Lamont Reef.

GLADSTONE freediving champion John Pengelly was bitten by a three metre bull shark while diving at Lamont Reef early yesterday morning.

The 19-year-old suffered deep lacerations to his wrist and lower forearm while spearfishing at the reef, 44 nautical miles east of Gladstone.

After receiving treatment from medical staff on Herron Island he was flown to Rockhampton and air-lifted to Brisbane for surgical assessment.

At the time of print Mr Pengelly was in a stable condition.

Diving with fellow Curtis Coast Spearfishing members David Jenson and Nat Keene, it was their first dive of the day when the shark came from below and bit Mr Pengelly.

“The shark nipped him on the hand, but it was not an aggressive nip but an enquiry nip,” said Mark Brookes, president of Curtis Coast Spearfishing club, who was also diving at the time.

Mr Brookes said he was surprised by the shark’s strike as there seemed to be no reason for the shark to be aggressive.

“The reason spearfishers attract attention from sharks is when they shoot a fish it flaps around and grabs the attention of the shark. But John hadn’t shot anything,” Mr Brookes said. “It was a shock as it was totally unprovoked.”

Mr Jenson said it was simply a case of mistaken identity.

“There were two guys together and to the shark they probably looked like a turtle,” he said.

“John was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Mr Keene told The Observer sharks were “just something you deal with”.

“As spearfishers you know that you are going into a shark’s habitat. As lovers of the ocean we are respectful of the fish and sharks and the shark was just doing its job,” he said.




Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Couple choose Gladstone as final destination

Pearl and John Jacobsen have travelled around the world on their Pacific Pearl II for the past 35 years, and are selling to begin a new chapter on land. Photo Sarah Barnham / The Observer

HAVE YOU seen the bright red yacht at the marina?

'We're not radicals, haters': Anti-Islam party in Gladstone

FEDERAL ELECTION: Australian Liberty Alliance Queensland Senate candidate Chelle Dobson on the hustings in Gladstone. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer

Senate candidate Chelle Dobson pulls into town

Latest deals and offers

Shark Hunter warns of Attack

Shark hunter Joel merchant hooks a Tiger shark.

Joel Merchant says more sharks on the way as temperature drops.

Australian Liberty Alliance

FEDERAL ELECTION: Australian Liberty Alliance Queensland Senate candidate Chelle Dobson on the hustings in Gladstone. Photo Declan Cooley / The Observer

FEDERAL ELECTION: Australian Liberty Alliance Queensland Senate candidate Chelle...

Own Sunshine Coast property? You’re about to make money

UP AND UP: Property owners are likely to win from rent and price increases but tenants and first home buyers might not be so happy. Photo: Brett Wortman / Sunshine Coast Daily

Good new for property owners, not so good for buyers and tenants.

Gladstone's 10 cheapest houses for sale

ALL of the houses are selling for well under $200,000.