Port Macquarie shark attack: Toby Begg pictured on his surfboard just moments before attack that left him without a leg
- Surfer loses leg in shark attack and could lose the other
- Image shows Toby Begg moments prior to attack
- Online fundraiser set up to help with medical costs
A chilling photo of a surfer has emerged just moments before a monster shark lurking just metres away attacked and left with him life-changing injuries.
A ripple in the water was the only warning father-of-two Toby Begg, 44, had before he was attacked by a 4m-long great white shark on Friday morning as he surfed about 150m off Lighthouse Beach near Port Macquarie on NSW’s mid-north coast.
A photo obtained by Nine News taken by a photographer on the beach shows Mr Begg metres away from the shark, unaware that his life was about to change forever.
The photo shows Mr Begg holding his surfboard and another fellow surfer appearing to keep a close eye on a ripple in the water a few metres away moments before the predator attacked.
Mr Begg wrestled with the shark for around 30 seconds before being pulled ashore by fellow surfers, with serious injuries from his waist down.
He remains in a critical but stable condition in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
He has lost one leg and undergone a second surgery to try to save his other leg as his family broke their silence on Saturday.
Moment before the attack, Toby Begg (circled right) was just metres away from the shark (circled left), with ripple in the water the only warning his life was about to change forever
‘It’s still in a very early stage and the extent of his injuries is being unveiled,’ Chris Lenihan, Mr Begg’s brother-in-law, said in a statement.
‘However, he will require many surgeries and has years of rehabilitation ahead of him.’
He launched an online fundraiser which had raised more than $30,000 within hours.
Mr Lenihan wrote that his brother-in-law, a skilled builder, had been lucky that an off-duty emergency doctor was on the beach at the time of the attack to help apply a tourniquet using leg ropes from surfboards.
The skilled builder and business owner is the main income earner of his young family including ‘loving partner’ Tracy and their two children.
‘If you can, please donate to assist Toby with medical bills and help with ongoing bills during his recovery. We will keep you updated on Toby’s progress.
Another photo, taken after Mr Begg was brought ashore, showed his surfboard snapped just above the fins while shards of fibreglass had also been torn away.
The surfboard has been seized by police.
A popular local and father-of-two, the local community has rallied behind Mr Begg who remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition
Another image taken after Mr Begg had been brought ashore shows his surfboard torn apart just above the fins by what is believed to be about a 4 metre long Great White Shark
NSW Police Chief Inspector Martin Burke confirmed Mr Begg attempted to battle with the shark and had sustained injuries during so.
‘The reports are that a man has tried to fight this shark for 30 seconds and has then swum himself to shore where he has realised he has sustained significant lower leg injuries,’ Chief Insp Burke said.
‘From what I understand, it was a sustained and prolonged attack.’
An off-duty emergency room doctor happened to be on the beach at the team and sprung into action to help tourniquet his leg.
Chief Insp Burke commended the doctor for stepping up at the time of the attack to help save Mr Begg’s life.
‘To have the absolute luck of having an emergency department doctor on scene are all going to be key things that are going to lend itself to giving this gentleman the best chance of survival.’
The man who was viciously attacked by what is believed be a great white whark has been identified as 44-year-old father-of-two Toby Begg (pictured)
Paramedics treated the man at the scene before he was rushed to Port Macquarie Base Hospital and later transferred to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital.
The beach remains closed to swimmers however about a dozen surfers were seen at the water on Saturday.
Surf life savers were spotted using a drone in an attempt to locate the shark that attacked Mr Begg.
If found, the shark will most likely be euthanised.
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