Snorkelling with Wobbegongs

My husband, Ross, was snorkelling at sunset and low tide around the rocks at Shark Bay, Iluka, NSW. As usual there were plenty of Wobbegongs sleeping under the rock ledges and snuggled up in the seaweed.

As Ross got into deeper water he saw the big one, which is around 8 ft and lives around that area. Ross had seen this particular Wobbegong lots of times swim by. He said to himself: "Ok Fellow. Iíll leave you alone if you leave me alone.

Suddenly Ross felt something tugging on his foot and looked down to find the big fellow had grabbed onto his diving boot. Lucky that he was wearing them. The shark started to bite through his boot, so he swung around and over backwards to wack it with a screw driver he happened to be carrying as he was looking for oysters.

The Wobbegong was trying to pull him down into the deeper water. The shark let go and Ross started to swim to the surface. His shoulder was killing him with the wrench.

As Ross came to the surface he realised that he had lost all movement in his shoulder so he gave it a shove and whacked his shoulder back into place with the same force he had knocked the shoulder out of it socket.

He managed to get onto the beach and collect himself, remove his boots and drive the 20 minutes home. For 3 months he hoped it would heal, but it didnít and he is now recovering in bed after a shoulder operation 2 days ago. They put the tendons, which were torn from the shoulder, back into place with screws.

So it will be 6 weeks in a sling and lots of physio and then itís back to snorkelling for the summer.

- Helen

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