A young woman is suffering serious facial injuries after she was attacked by a shark while diving with her partner at a busy beach south of Adelaide.
Bridgette O’Shannessy, 32, was bitten in the face by the shark at Port Noarlunga on Friday while diving with her partner, Brian Gordon Roberts, who 7 News reports pushed the shark away from her during the attack in a move that may have saved her life.
Mr Roberts confirmed the attack on social media, saying Ms O’Shannessy was “hit by a white pointer” while the pair were diving on the reef.
“She’s out of theatre now, in ICU and in a stable condition. She’s doing really well considering the circumstances,” he said.
“Thanks for all the well wishes I’ve been passing them on to her.’’
Ms O’Shannessy is an environmental consultant, originally from the Victorian town of Yackandandah.
Paramedics were called to a jetty at The Esplanade, Port Noarlunga, about 1.20pm on Friday after reports a person had been attacked by a shark.
Ms O’Shannessy was found conscious and breathing but with severe facial injuries and had to be rushed to hospital for treatment.
An SA Ambulance Service spokesman said at the time her injuries were “life-threatening” and the woman had been taken to Flinders Medical Centre.
She has lost several teeth and suffered nerve damage in her face as a result of the attack.
Images from the scene show swimmers having left the water and helping emergency services hold up tarpaulins and barriers around the woman as she was taken to a waiting ambulance.
Authorities conducted an extensive search of the water in a bid to find the shark, but it was not located.
It comes just over a week since the death of 55-year-old South Australian surfer Tod Gendle at a beach near Streaky Bay.
That was SA’s second fatal shark attack in 2023 after the death of teacher Simon Baccanello, 46, who was killed by a shark near Elliston.
The attack at Port Noarlunga marks the fourth in total this year for South Australia, but is the first to be recorded at a metropolitan beach.
BREAKING: A beachgoer has been rushed to hospital after a suspected shark attack at Port Noarlunga. The woman has suffered facial injuries. The latest in 7NEWS Adelaide at 6pm. #7NEWSpic.twitter.com/lUggPLZXM6
— 7NEWS Adelaide (@7NewsAdelaide) November 10, 2023
Port Noarlunga is about 30km south of the Adelaide CBD.