SYDNEY, Australia - Lifeguards at a beach post north of Sydney couldn't believe their eyes when a man walked in with a small shark attached to his leg. Luke Tresoglavic swam 1,000 feet to shore, walked to his car and drove to the local surf club with the 23-inch shark biting his leg and refusing to let go.
"I just realized I had to swim in like that, hanging on to it," Tresoglavic told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio on Wednesday.
Tresoglavic, 22, was snorkeling on a reef off Caves Beach near Newcastle on Tuesday when a wobbegong, or carpet shark, attacked his leg.
"Once I got on to shore, a couple of people tried to help me, but I could not remove it," he said. "It was stuck there, so I got up into my car and then drove to the clubhouse, and luckily the guys down there had a clue what to do."
A senior lifeguard at the clubhouse, Michael Jones, said he couldn't believe his eyes when Tresoglavic turned up — shark in tow.
"He basically asked the question: 'Can you help me get it off?' There's nothing in our procedure manual for that type of thing," Jones said.
The lifeguards flushed the shark's gills with fresh water, forcing it to loosen its grip on Tresoglavic's leg — with blood oozing from 70 needle-like punctures. The shark later died.
"He's lucky he didn't get into difficulties in the water trying to swim with that thing thrashing around," Jones said.
But he said Tresoglavic remained in good spirits throughout the ordeal. "There was a side of humor to it," he said.
Tresoglavic was taken to hospital, but it was not immediately clear what treatment he received.
Wobbegong sharks can grow to nearly 10 feet in length, possess razor-sharp teeth and are said to be moody and short-tempered.