A 29-year-old Australian woman, identified as Lauren O’Neill, suffered a “serious injury” to her right leg in a suspected bull shark attack in Sydney Harbor. The incident occurred while she was swimming in the eastern Sydney suburb of Elizabeth Bay. O’Neill was bitten on Monday night, prompting her neighbors to call emergency services and provide assistance. Witnesses described the severity of the attack, with one neighbor noting that O’Neill’s leg was trailing behind her, and the water around her turned red with blood.
Neighbors, including veterinarian Fiona Crago, came to O’Neill’s aid. Crago applied a tourniquet to stem the blood flow and bandaged the victim’s leg, describing the injuries as severe. O’Neill, who lives in the area, was swimming close to moored boats but outside a private, netted harbor pool near her apartment block.
New South Wales police reported that the victim suffered a “serious injury” to her right leg, and authorities believe she was attacked by a bull shark. O’Neill was taken to a hospital and is reported to be in stable condition. While shark attacks in Sydney Harbor are rare, the area is known to be an important habitat for bull sharks and their young.
This incident recalls a previous shark attack in 2009 when an Australian navy clearance diver was mauled by a bull shark during a training exercise in the harbor, resulting in the loss of his arm and part of his leg. Additionally, in February 2022, a fatal shark attack occurred at a Sydney beach, marking the city’s first deadly shark attack since 1963.