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Shark attack victim avoids death after vet’s ‘strange coincidence’ saved her life

Shark attack victim avoids death after vet’s ‘strange coincidence’ saved her life

Lauren O'Neill, 29, alerted her neighbours to the shark attack with her chilling screams.

A young woman who was mauled by a shark in Australia miraculously survived the attack due to a 'strange coincidence'.

Lauren O'Neill was found in a pool of blood after what is believed to be a bull shark ambushed her in Sydney Harbour on Monday (29 January).

The 29-year-old alerted her neighbours to the incident with her frantic screams as she desperately tried to climb up a ladder to the safety of the jetty after her leg was bitten by the underwater beast at around 7.45pm local time.

Onlookers told how she was found covered in 'dark red blood' as nearby residents rushed to find out what the commotion they had heard unfolding was.

Vet Fiona Crago, who lives in an apartment overlooking a private wharf in the bay with her wife Georgia, was one of the people who rushed to help after hearing repeated yells of 'shark attack!'

The quick-thinking Aussie explained that she quickly scanned the room for anything that may prove useful and she ended up grabbing two compression bandages - which her other half had purchased just hours earlier.

Speaking to Channel 10, the former lawyer said: "She was severely mauled on her right leg and she was losing a lot of blood. Neighbours had already started to render first aid to her. We had quite a few people that were so helpful.

Lauren O'Neill was attacked by a shark in Sydney Harbour.

"People were throwing down towels and blankets to keep her warm but I just focused on what I had to do, which was to stem the blood flow and bandage the leg as best I can with what I had and just stabilise it. And then put a tourniquet on.

"I'm in no way heroic, I just did my job and I just did what I was trained to do."

It proved pivotal that Fiona was armed with the compression bandages, which are typically used for sports injuries and apply pressure to a specific area or injury.

The vet, who retrained in animal health around a decade ago after a stint as a TV producer, explained that she normally only carries run-of-the-mill bandages around with her due to the field of work she is in.

But as she had swapped cars, she didn't have her usual supply to hand - however, thankfully, her wife Georgia had picked up the two compression bandages earlier in the day.

Fiona added: "As a strange coincidence, my wife had actually gone up the road and bought two new compression bandages for another purpose, so I knew exactly where they were and just grabbed them, so it was quite lucky."

Neighbours, including vet Fiona Crago, came to the victims aid.
Sky News

Her wife Georgia said that the victim had suffered a broken bone after the attack in Sydney Harbour, but pointed out that it was lucky that Lauren wasn't any further out in the water.

She warned: "If she got bitten (further) out there, she wouldn't have survived."

Keen kayaker Lauren was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital by ambulance after paramedics took over from the heroic bystanders like Fiona and Georgia, where she remains in a stable condition.

Reports claim she is due to undergo surgery today for her injuries.

A spokesman for New South Wales Ambulance told Daily Mail Australia on Monday night: "She had serious bleeding. Her injuries are severe."

A bull shark is believed to be the culprit behind the life-threatening attack.
Getty Stock Image

Another eyewitness to the aftermath of the shark attack, Michael Porter, described Fiona as an 'absolute hero' and said he thinks her actions saved Lauren's life.

"She had wraps and tourniquets and just got straight into emergency mode, and we were all just sort of there together as a team," he recalled.

Michael, who alerted emergency services, claimed that the victim had been swimming outside a 'netted harbour pool' and was 'swimming around the boats' before the shark pounced on her.

But despite being in a 'complete state of shock', he applauded Lauren for remaining 'very lucid' and 'extremely brave' throughout the ordeal.

Featured Image Credit: TNV/Sky News

Topics: Health, Sharks, Shark Attacks, Australia, World News