The abalone diver who incredibly survived a second shark attack has revealed he did not see the great white that tried to bite his head off – but instead recognised the sound of teeth on bone.
Greg Pickering, 55, was diving for abalone off a remote part of Western Australia’s southern coast last month when he was attacked by a suspected great white shark.
It was the second time Mr Pickering had lived through a shark attack, after being bitten by a 1.5 metre bronze whaler while in waters near Cervantes, north of Perth, in 2004 as he was trying to help a friend.
Speaking about his ordeal for the first time, Mr Pickering told the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program about the circumstances of the attack, which left him needing 10 hours of surgery on facial and other wounds.
“I heard the sound, the thrashing sound, of teeth on bone – and I remembered the sound from the last time I was bitten,” Mr Pickering said.
“I thought `that is probably a shark’, but I didn’t see it – I heard the attack.”
The show claims Mr Pickering is now the only man in the world to be attacked by sharks in separate incidents and live to tell the tale.
And the interview will also detail how Mr Pickering used his 40-year diving experience to hold his breath and rise to the surface slowly after the attack, despite the water turning red around him from the blood pouring from his horrific injuries.
A roll of duct tape and a towel was then used to hold Mr Pickering’s shredded face together, as his eight-hour journey to hospital began.
Mr Pickering told reporter Mark Ferguson how he felt he had been spared his life.
“It (the shark) suddenly stopped and let me go – so I have definitely been given another chance,” Mr Pickering said.
“I do believe I have been given a second chance. God has given me a second chance there is no doubt about that.”
Soon after the attack, Mr Pickering’s family expressed their thanks to paramedics, surgeons, doctors and nurses who helped save his life, while Fisheries Department director-general Stuart Smith slapped a kill order on the shark.
But the order was then called off because the shark was not sighted again and was no longer considered a threat to school-holiday campers in the area.
Mr Pickering returned to the area where he was attacked, Poison Creek at Cape Arid National Park, about 180km east of Esperance, to tell his story.
*The interview with Mr Pickering will air on the Seven Network’s Sunday Night at 6.30pm AEDT on Sunday November 17