The woman who was attacked by a shark on NSW’s far south coast has been identified as pictures show her terrifying injuries.
The woman rushed to hospital following a “terrifying” shark attack on the NSW south coast was an experienced swimmer and local surf lifesaving club member.
Michele Bootes, 63, was injured the attack off the main beach at Merimbula about 7am on Saturday.
She made it out of the water and raised alarm at a local cafe, covered in blood and bite marks.
About 30km of coastline was closed as investigators searched for the shark responsible.
Emergency services were called to the beach and paramedics treated Ms Bootes for bites to her shoulder, hip, back and buttocks.
Ms Bootes is a member of Merimbula Merpeople, an ocean group.
She is also a life member of the Pambula Surf Lifesaving Club and the 2020 Bega Citizen of the Year.
“All of a sudden I jut felt this strike and realised that I’d been bitten by a shark,” she told 7News.
“It just struck and disappeared.
“I was just scared in case he was going to have another go at me.”
She was taken to South East Regional Hospital in a stable condition.
NSW Ambulance Inspector Robert Whitney said it was unclear at first how Ms Bootes was injured.
“There was initially some uncertainty if it was a shark, bystanders on scene reported seeing fins and a large animal,” he said.
“It was pretty clear that it had been a shark attack as paramedics arrived on scene.
“What we could see is that the patient suffered multiple wounds in what would have been a terrifying event. Paramedics did a fantastic job in treating the patient down at the beach before transporting to hospital.”
Surf Life Saving NSW said several beaches along the Sapphire Coast would be closed as investigations continued on Saturday.
“Beaches from Wallagoot Lake down to Pambula are closed for 24 hours after a woman in her 60s was bitten on the hip and thigh by a shark while swimming at Main Beach Merimbula,” Surf Life Saving NSW said on Twitter.