Australian shark attack victim drives himself to hospital

An Australian surfer drove himself to hospital after being attacked by a shark on the country’s east coast. Jabez Reitman, 35, had been surfing off Seven Mile Beach near Byron Bay when a shark, believed to be about 2 metres (6.5ft) long, pounced on him at about 6.45am. The father of one suffered wounds to his back and buttocks, but was able to drive himself to Byron Bay Hospital after the attack, police said. He was transferred to Gold Coast University Hospital for surgery and was described as being in a stable condition.

[I’m a] bit shocked … I think I should have stayed in bed.

Jabez Reitman, 35, shark attack victim

Byron Bay is a renowned surfing location near Cape Byron, the most easterly point of the Australian mainland 500 miles (800km) north of Sydney. Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr Reitman said he first thought he had encountered a dolphin – until he realised how bad his injuries were. He said he had been “a bit freaked out” but tried to be “cool, calm and collected”. Although sharks are common off Australia’s coast, the country has averaged fewer than two fatal attacks per year in recent decades.