Grandmother Mauled by Great White Shark

Pam Cook, a 64-year-old grandmother, was swimming with her group at Beachport Jetty, Australia, when she was attacked by a juvenile great white shark. The incident, which occurred on October 2, resulted in Cook needing 200 stitches to mend the wounds inflicted by the shark’s multiple bites.

Cook was in the water when she noticed the shark’s jaw, as wide as a basketball, clamped around her leg. She immediately alerted her group by shouting “shark, shark!” which caused the shark to retreat momentarily. However, the predator returned shortly after, sinking its teeth into her left thigh.

In her recount of the incident, Cook described the shark as “sort of chewing” on her leg, a terrifying moment where she felt her life flashing before her eyes. Despite her injured hand, she managed to fend off the shark and swam approximately 50 feet to a ladder. She pulled herself out of the water and collapsed, having to secure a flap of skin that had been torn in the attack.

The Beachport Jetty, where the incident took place, is located 300 miles outside of Melbourne. Cook was swimming there when the juvenile great white shark bit her ankle and returned to inflict a gaping wound on her leg.

Greg Rae, a maintenance worker, was quick to apply a tourniquet to Cook’s leg while others provided blankets and towels for her comfort as they awaited the arrival of paramedics. Cook was then rushed to Mt. Gambier Hospital where she underwent a 5.5-hour surgery to treat injuries on her thigh, hand, and ankle.

After spending a week in the hospital, Cook is now recovering at home with a brace on her arm and a moon boot on her foot. Despite the traumatic experience, she hopes to rejoin her swimming group by Christmas. She expressed her determination to return to the water, stating that she couldn’t imagine not being part of her beloved swimming group.