Whitsunday shark attack survivor shares recovery journey
WHEN Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick went for a swim from her yacht in Cid Harbour she had no idea that, within minutes, her life would change.
"I just dived straight in and the shark got me just as my head broke the surface of the water. I knew because of the force it couldn't have been anything else," she recalls on ABC TV's Australian Story.
Her husband Craig and a girlfriend hauled her from the water and together - and as calmly as possible - applied lifesaving first aid to the catastrophic injuries to her leg.
Luckily, a senior medical officer at Mackay Base Hospital, who was enjoying time off work a few boats away, arrived and also helped with her survival.
"I stuffed as many bandages as I could into my speedos and went up over the side," Dr John Haddock said.
"The thing that struck me immediately was the sense of order and calm that was in the cockpit. And I remember thinking, these are extraordinary people."
A dramatic twilight helicopter rescue ferried the unconscious woman to the Base hospital where surgeons managed to save her leg.
Justine shares her story of survival and recovery in Australian Story's Out of the Blue, which airs on Monday night on ABC TV.