Shark hero’s trauma: ‘She wanted a piece of someone’

ONE of the hero surfers who fought off a monster shark to try to save retired Gold Coast tradie Rob Pedretti says he is seeking trauma counselling over the "horrendous" experience.

Mr Pedretti, 60, died on the beach after being attacked by the 3m great white at Kingscliff on the Tweed Coast on Sunday.

His mate, Frank Schlee, and another Gold Coast surfer, Mark Hayes, bravely fought off the shark and paddled Mr Pedretti to shore in a vain bid to save him.

Mr Hayes told The Courier-Mail he was struggling with shock and trauma and had arranged to see a counsellor.

His board was dinged after it was bumped by the shark which "chased" him and Mr Schlee as they brought a badly mauled Mr Pedretti to shore.

 

Gold Coast surfer Mark Hayes bravely fought off the shark and paddled Mr Pedretti to shore in a vain bid to save Rob Pedretti.
Gold Coast surfer Mark Hayes bravely fought off the shark and paddled Mr Pedretti to shore in a vain bid to save Rob Pedretti.

 

 

Shark attack victim Rob Pedretti.
Shark attack victim Rob Pedretti.

"I saw the whole thing and it was a pretty horrendous thing that happened," he said.

"It could have been all of us … either one of us could have died. It was a female shark and she wasn't letting us go.

"I'm lucky to be here - very lucky - because she wanted a piece of someone."

Police have said they will recommend Mr Schlee and Mr Hayes for bravery awards but Mr Hayes shrugged off the hero tag.

A shark seen off Salt Beach after Mr Pedretti was killed.
A shark seen off Salt Beach after Mr Pedretti was killed.

"You'd expect someone to help you if something like that happened," he said.

"In that situation, unfortunately there's not much you can do. It was a terribly sad outcome."

Mr Schlee has told friends he is still trying to process the horrific tragedy and has declined to speak to the media.

Mr Pedretti's friends have said that while he would be 'angry' at the shark, he would not want it culled.

We're in the shark's waters," close mate Craig Tulloch said.

"You jump over a fence and there's a dog in the backyard wanting to attack you, then it's your choice isn't it?

"He'd (Mr Pederetti) be angry about it though, don't worry about that!"

Kingscliff beaches have now been reopened by authorities.

It was confirmed by Surf Life Saving NSW this morning the stretch of beach from Kingscliff to Cabarita would reopen to the public.



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