A friend of the woman mauled by a shark off the coast of Far North Queensland has revealed the 29-year-old has endured far worse trauma than Tuesday’s brutal attack.
Anika Craney, who was attacked about midday near Fitzroy Island, off the coast of Cairns, was one of hundreds to lose her home when bushfires tore through Cobargo, in southeast NSW, in January.
Her friend Dean Cropp, skipper of private boat Barefoot II which she jumped from before being bitten, told Cairns Post Ms Craney has most definitely seen worse days.
“The heartache she went through in the bushfire was more severe than this,” Mr Cropp said.
He told the publication that despite sustaining serious leg injuries, Ms Craney was most concerned the boat and its crew would leave without her.
“She was largely worried about us sailing off without her than her injuries. She’s now concentrating on getting better and we’re here for her,” he said.
Ms Craney, a deckhand and documentary maker, had been swimming on a day off about 100 metres from a jetty when the shark attacked.
Doctors, who were guests at the Fitzroy Island Resort, applied a tourniquet to stop the bleeding before a rescue helicopter and paramedics arrived and she was flown to Cairns Hospital.
When she arrived, she declared to awaiting media, “I still love sharks. Sharks are beautiful”.
Mr Cropp said despite some early uncertainty over what bit Ms Craney, there was now no doubt the perpetrator was a shark.
“Based on the severity of the bite, she’s not a weekend snorkeller. She knows enough,” he told Cairns Post.
Ms Craney was the third shark attack in recent weeks off Australia's east coast.
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