A 50-year-old Australian man who saved a girl from the clutches of a giant white shark by grabbing its tail has been honoured with the country’s second highest bravery award.
Trevor Burns was on a holiday with his family in Perth that he took part in a dolphin encounter at Rockingham with about 40 other people.
Elyse Frankcom, 19, was showing dolphins to a group of one dozen tourists when she was attacked by a 3.7 meters long great white shark. When other tourists swam back to the boat as the alarm went off, Burns dived back into the water to find the injured girl.
“I just thought,’Get it off her,’ because she was only about a metre away from me,” the Australian media quoted Burns as saying. Burns grabbed the shark’s tail but it thrashed around before finally releasing its grip and swimming away.
The woman though survived the attack, but she had to go through multiple operations which required more than 200 stitches as she had significant leg injuries.
Burns too had suffered injuries on his ribs before entering the water as he has slipped on to the boat. However, he quickly forgot about the pain as the drama unfolded.
The pain was felt for weeks later Burns quipped, “Adrenaline is a great pain relief.” Burns received the ‘Star of Courage’ award on Monday for his bravery which is the second highest award for bravery in Australia.