Perth spearfisherman bitten on the leg in great white shark attack near Leeman, Beagle Islands, WA


‘I stared into its soul’: Fisherman relives the terrifying moment he came face-to-face with a four-metre great white shark that ripped his leg apart and left him with wounds requiring 100 stitches

  • Spearfisherman, 25, was attacked by a four-metre shark off the coast of Perth
  • Alex Dodd’s was fishing with a mate when mauled by the great white 
  • Shark left a 20cm gash on his leg with the bite requiring more than 100 stitches
  • Friend Brodie Paino defended his friend with speargun scaring the shark away

Alex Dodds, 25, has opened up about the chilling moment he was attacked by a great white pointer on whilst spearfishing north of Perth

Mr Dodds was mauled by the shark, estimated to be about four metres, near Leeman in the Beagle Islands about 260km north of Perth. 

The attack on Wednesday left Mr Dodds with a 20cm gash on his leg under the knee, requiring more than 100 stitches.

Mr Dodds said he was still coming to terms with the encounter which almost cost him his life if not for a brave friend.

Alex Dodds, 25, (pictured with this partner of five years) was left with a 20cm gash on his leg and over 100 stitches after being attacked by shark

‘Mouth literally that wide, and just teeth everywhere,’ he said while describing the attack. 

‘And its tail was just flapping behind it, full pelt, coming towards me.

 ‘I literally stared straight into its soul, hey — like the eyes rolled back.’

‘[It’s] hard to make sense of at the moment.

‘There’s been a few moments where I’ve been like ‘I’m so lucky, hey.’

Mr Dodds’ friend Brodie Paino, who was only metres away when he witnessed the attack, scared he shark with his speargun in an attempt to poke it away.

‘When I dived down, I saw it right underneath me so I rushed back up towards the surface. I was directly on top of it,’ Mr Paino said.

‘It really startled me, and as I was coming back up it swam up too, and went straight from the bottom to the top and grabbed him by the leg.’ 

‘If it had wanted to come back it could’ve, but thank God it left. I think I startled it, to be honest.’

Mr Dodds was attacked by a four-metre great white shark on Wednesday off the coast of Perth whilst spearfishing

Mr Dodds was attacked by a four-metre great white shark on Wednesday off the coast of Perth whilst spearfishing

After the attack, Mr Paino helped his friend back to their boat and called St John Ambulance before wrapping Mr Dodd’s bloody leg in a towel and skippering him five kilometres back to shore.

‘We wrapped his leg up with a towel and used a weight belt as a tourniquet and put ropes around his knee and the bottom of his leg,’ Mr Paino said.

‘He could move his toes. He couldn’t feel at first but he got his feeling back so that’s a relief.’

‘He was pretty calm to be honest. He just asked, ‘is it bad?’.

The great white shark (stock image) attacked Mr Dodd's whilst he was spear-fishing near Leeman, in the Beagle Islands, about 260km north of Perth

The great white shark (stock image) attacked Mr Dodd’s whilst he was spear-fishing near Leeman, in the Beagle Islands, about 260km north of Perth

Upon reaching shore, Mr Paino was assisted by two locals to carry Mr Dodds up the beach where he was then airlifted by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Perth.    

Mr Dodd’s remains in a stable condition.  

There have been multiple shark attacks in Western Australia so far this year including another spear fisherman bitten on the leg by a two-metre shark and an attack on a ten year old boy by a two-metre bronze whaler, both in Coral Bay.

Access to the track leading to popular beach and camping spot, Gum Tree Bay, near Leeman, has since been closed by the local Shire pending further shark sightings.   

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