WARNING - GRAPHIC DETAILS: A shocked bystander has detailed the horrific moments after a surfer was attacked by a shark, saying the victim's right arm was missing as he clung to his board off the NSW Central Coast.
Timothy Thompson, 31, was attacked at Shelly Beach, in the suburb of Emerald Beach, north of Coffs Harbour on Sunday morning just before 11am.
Mr Thompson was a father-to-be, expecting his first child in January with his wife, Katie.
Despite the best efforts of paramedics he died at the scene after suffering critical injuries to his right arm and back.
Surfer Hugh Riley told The Daily Telegraph he saw the victim after he was attacked and that he pleaded for help.
“He had huge lacerations on his back and his entire right arm was missing from the shoulder, he was making guttural noises and was in a cloud of blood, the look of fear in his eyes said it all,” Mr Riley told the paper.
“He was conscious and in a state of shock, he could barely speak, the look of extreme horror in his eyes was what I saw, it was very confronting."
Mr Riley said he was about 20 metres from the victim who managed to pull himself onto his surfboard and tried to make it back to the shore.
“We got him off his board and carried him to shore and made a tourniquet around his shoulder with a leg rope and performed CPR," Mr Riley said.
“We’re so sorry we couldn’t save him.”
Victim was becoming a dad for the first time
Mr Thompson's devastated wife Katie wrote on Facebook she is expecting their first child.
“To say I’m heartbroken would be an understatement,” she wrote.
“I’m just waiting for someone to tell me this isn’t real. All I know right now is that I have no choice but to keep going, because I have a little piece of you growing in me. My heart aches for our baby who will never get to meet you.”
She added her husband, who she wedded in March, would have been “the best daddy”.
“I promise to tell our baby everyday how amazing their daddy was, how you never spoke a bad word about anybody, how kind and caring you were and most importantly how much you loved that little bubba growing in my tummy,” Ms Thompson wrote.
“The last thing Tim said to me before he walked out that door for the last time was ‘I love you two’. He kissed me and my tummy goodbye.”
The couple's baby is due in January.
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