Man films himself after shark attack off Australia coast

Fearing the shark would attack again, Matteo Mariotti pulled out his camera and filmed what he thought were his last moments off the 1770 Beach in Queensland, Australia. 

“I started this video a few moments after the last bite, I wanted to say goodbye, I never thought I’d survive that monster,” the 20-year-old wrote next to a video he posted to his Instagram feed on Monday, four days after the Dec. 8 attack. 

Mariotti was snorkeling just off the coast when the creature struck. Clothes torn and the water around him filling with blood, he filmed himself with what appears to be a GoPro camera as he swam toward the beach.  

“I beg you to help me,” he said to his friend as neared the beach. “Pull me out of the water.”

Matteo Mariotti, an Italian student in his 20s who has been studying marine biology in Australia since late 2022, was mauled by a shark last week when snorkeling on the 1770 beach in Queensland, a family hotspot.
Matteo Mariotti after the attack.@matteo_mariotti__ / Instagram

Mariotti, who has been studying marine biology in Australia since late last year, lost half of his right leg and suffered bites to his left. 

In a voice note to the Italian newspaper Gazzetta Di Parma on Tuesday, Mariotti said that he thought his snorkeling fin had become stuck in the shark’s mouth.

“It probably prevented him from attacking me again,” he said, adding that he was “really afraid,” that the creature would do so.

Describing it as “one of the most serious injuries I have ever seen,” Martin Kelly, a senior operations supervisor with the Queensland Ambulance Service, told NBC News on Wednesday that Mariotti’s deep wounds meant his right leg had been amputated below the knee.  

“When you get this type of injury that severe, often people do pass away,” said Kelly, who has been working for the service for 45 years. 

Metro North Hospital and Health Service in Brisbane, where Mariotti is receiving treatment, said in a statement Tuesday that they could confirm that a patient under that name was in a stable condition but were unable to provide any details out of privacy and confidentiality. 

After he posted the video on Instagram, Mariotti was flooded with supportive comments. One man said he had been an amputee for decades and lived a great life despite a missing leg. 

A GoFundMe webpage has already raised over $50,000 for “substantial medical care.”

1770 Queensland Australia shark attack
The 1770 beach in Queensland, Australia. Genevieve Vallee / Alamy Stock Photo

 This attack comes after another shark attack in Australia last week. 

Shark attacks worldwide nonetheless remain rare. There were 57 unprovoked shark attacks last year, according to the Florida Museum, which keeps a database of all known shark attacks worldwide. Five were fatal. 

Australia is second only to the United States in the number of attacks, according to the database. 

Kelly said sharks like to feed in the morning or later in the afternoon as the water is cooler. 

“There are places you just need to be careful [as] you’re in their environment and you need to respect this fact,” he added.