Horrific footage emerges of shark attack at family hotspot off Australia

The 20-year-old victim barely escaped with his life, having turned on his camera 'to say goodbye'.

WARNING - CONFRONTING IMAGES: Footage has emerged of the bone-chilling moment an Italian man was viciously mauled by a shark at a popular Aussie swimming spot, with the backpacker certain he was going to die as he switched on his camera in a last-ditch effort "to say goodbye".

Matteo Mariotti, 20, who has been studying marine biology in Australia since late 2022, was mauled while snorkelling at 1770 Beach, about a three-hour drive south of Yeppoon in Queensland, on Friday. The spot is a well-known tourist attraction popular with families.

'Terrible pain' ends backpacker's 'relaxing' swim

Speaking to Italian news outlet Gazetta di Parma, Mariotti said he'd recently heard tragic news from back home, that his grandfather had died, so he decided to go for a swim to "relax" and clear his head.

“I needed to relax and I thought about taking a swim not far from the shore, but after a few steps in the water, I felt a terrible pain in a foot," he told the publication.

Matteo Mariotti uploaded this footage while being mauled by a shark.
Matteo Mariotti, 20, was bitten by a shark off the coast of Queensland on Friday. Source: Instagram.

“I tried to widen that big mouth [of the shark] and with difficulty I freed my leg, even though from the knee down I could tell there was nothing left.

“I was screaming with the fear that the shark could reach me and eat me. My friend Tommaso, who was on the beach: he was the one who saved me. I really thought I couldn't make it."

Matteo Mariotti uploaded this footage while being mauled by a shark.
The 20-year-old said he owes his best friend Tommasi his life, for helping him to shore. Source: Instagram.

Cries for help heard in horror footage

In the footage he managed to capture, most of which is filmed underwater, Bunnings customer shares major carpark gripe can be heard crying out for help through muffled audio. Not much can be seen during the attack, until Mariotti emerges from underwater and is able to make his way to shore.

It's then the camera flashes to his leg injuries, with blood-stained water pooling around his body. At that point, the Italian appears to still have all of his limbs.

He was soon flown to Bundaberg Hospital, where he was treated for severe leg wounds. As of Wednesday, Mariotti is now stable, a spokesperson for Queensland Health told Yahoo News Australia.

Uploading the footage to social media, Mariotti said he'd "lost so much blood and my leg".

"I don't know if they're going to cut it all off or if it's going to be left in half", he said in a post written in Italian, translated to English.

"Sorry if I can't reply to you but I'm very tired and my head hurts. [Tommaso] I owe you my life. I'm coming home, love you."

Matteo Mariotti.
The Italian national was being treated at Bundaberg Hospital, where doctors are working to save his leg. Source: Instagram.

Mariotti's father to fly to Australia for support

Meanwhile, Mariotti's father Michele was preparing to fly to Brisbane, and remains hopeful that his son's leg can be saved. "Matteo is better. We just saw him on a video call. He will be operated on again on Friday," he told Gazetta di Parma.

"I will stay close to him for the time necessary for treatment in Australia, I think it will take more than a month, then we will return to Italy and here we will carry out everything possible so that he can recover."

A fundraiser to help cover costs of Mariotti's treatment can be found here.

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