Mark Rapley and Chantelle Doyle of Cromer, England, were enjoying a fun August day riding the waves when Chantelle suddenly began fighting for her life.
When Mark saw something knock his wife off her surfboard, he didn’t think. He just reacted — and ended up saving her!
The two of them were surfing at Shelly Beach in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, when Chantelle was attacked by a great white shark between 6 and 10 feet long.
The 35-year-old tried pulling herself back onto her surfboard, but the shark still had its teeth in her leg. Mark saw the commotion and paddled over as fast as he could. He grabbed her board, punched the predator several times, and even jumped onto its back!
“When you see the mother of your child and your support, everything that’s who you are, so you just react,” he said later.
Finally, the shark let go, and Mark was able to rush Chantelle back to the beach. Thankfully, other surfers jumped in to help and used a tourniquet to stop the bleeding until paramedics arrived. Chantelle was then airlifted to a hospital, where she underwent surgery. Meanwhile, officials closed the beach to investigate the attack.
“She is in pretty good spirits, still strong and hopefully all fine from here, but a long road to recovery,” Mark told GMA.
Even so, it’s clear Mark is the reason she’s alive today — and the reason their 3-year-old son still has a mother.
“He saved her life,” surfer Peter Lobb said. “It would have been strong enough to take her out to sea. He was really incredible.”
We can’t imagine how scary this ordeal has been for Chantelle and Mark, but we’re so glad to hear she’s on the mend! We’re wishing her a full, speedy recovery. As for Mark, words can’t do his bravery justice!
Learn more about his lifesaving actions in the video below, and share this story to thank the hero.
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