Sunday, November 17, 2013

Video: Greg Pickering Discusses His Shark Attack in Extended Interview

Greg Pickering discusses the shark attack with Sunday Night
Just over a month ago, Greg Pickering was fighting for his life after suffering a near life-ending shark attack while diving for abalone off the coast of Esperance, Western Australia (see original story here). Today, he sat down with Seven Network's Sunday Night program and discussed the circumstances of the attack and the harrowing eight hours that it took for him to get to the hospital.

Greg has been a abalone diver for nearly 33 years. He is an avid diver, spearfisherman and is a world class freediver once holding his breath for six minutes while on a dive.  Greg attributes his overall ease of being underwater and his ability to remain calm in adverse situations as a large factor in what saved his life.  The other factor?  Luck.

Greg Pickering and Callan Turner revisit the spot of the attack
It was around 10:30am on October 8th, 2013 when Greg was working the ocean floor in search of abalone.  He had just turned around when something impacted his head with great force.  He couldn't see what had hit him but he could hear a thrashing sound of what he described as being "teeth on bone" and he knew right away it was a shark.

He estimates that he was in the shark's grasp for 15 seconds before the shark released him. Greg knew he had to remain calm and began swimming towards the surface all the while wondering if the shark would come back for a follow up hit.  But luck was on his side, he was able to ascend the 15m to the surface without encountering the shark again.

Severely injured and bleeding profusely, Greg pulled himself into the boat where deckhand Callan Turner was faced with a monumental task of controlling Greg's bleeding and getting him to medical care.  This would not be an easy task as the closest hospital was 1,000 kilometers away in Perth.

It took eight hours to get Greg to Royal Perth Hospital where he would undergo 10 hours of surgery to his head and torso.  He received numerous stitches and staples to seal the massive wounds he sustained in the attack.

This tooth helped identify type of shark
A tooth that was lodged in Greg's eye would later allow paleontologist to determine that the shark responsible for the attack was a large great white approximately 5 meters (16 feet) in length.

Here's Greg's riveting and heroic story, much of it in his own words.  18:25 in length.
(Photos are video screenshots)