Mother saved children by beating a shark with her camera

Last updated at 20:02 18 May 2007

A woman bitten by a shark as she waded in knee-deep water at a remote Australian holiday beach said she fought off the predator with her camera to stop it from turning on her children.

The woman, Becky Cooke, 38, was bitten on the lower left leg on Wednesday as she was strolling in the shallows at Warra Beach, 1,100 kilometres (683 miles) north of Perth, in the Western Australia state.

She was carrying her three-year-old son Ethan at the time of the attack, and her 13-year-old son Brandon was walking alongside.

Scroll down for more ...

woman beat off shark with camera Becky Cooke

"I started hitting it with my camera and shaking my leg trying to get it off," Cooke told reporters from a hospital bed in Perth.

"At first I thought something had just hit me, not bitten me," she said. "It let go. I took a couple of steps and fell into the water because my leg was pretty bad. As I fell into the water the sea just turned to blood," she said.

Cooke said she feared the shark might attack her children.

"Brandon came running over and I said to him "take Ethan' and he grabbed Ethan and ran back to shore."

Cooke suffered severe wounds to her calf and could lose her foot. Experts said a reef shark might have been to blame for the attack.


The beach is famous for its shallow, fringing corals and is popular with tourists visiting the Ningaloo reef marine park, which draws humpback whales, dolphins and dugongs.

Australia, where sharks are protected, has had a number of shark attacks in the past year.

In January, an abalone diver was partly swallowed head-first by a Great White Shark off the southeastern coast, but managed to fight his way free, suffering a broken nose and bite marks.

In December, a surfer off the southern coast survived an attack with minor injuries, while a 15-year-old boy swimming off a remote southwest beach had his leg bitten.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now