Queensland shark attack victim awake and in a stable condition in hospital

Shark attack victim Rick Bettua is awake and in a stable condition in hospital after suffering a “catastrophic” bite to his pelvis.

He was mauled by a suspected bull shark while spearfishing at Britomart Reef, off Hinchinbrook Island, around 140km north of Townsville.

Mr Bettua – who is a former dive specialist with the US Navy – was bitten yesterday about 12pm.

Shark attack victim Rick Bettua (Nine)

A distress beacon was set off and paramedics and a rescue helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

A friend he was with applied a makeshift tourniquet in a bid to slow bleeding before help arrived.

Flight critical paramedic Ruiyi Yin said Mr Bettua didn’t have a pulse at the scene and had to be resuscitated when they arrived.

Shark attack victim Rick Bettua
Shark attack victim Rick Bettua (Nine)

“His friend had applied a makeshift tourniquet which I think was absolutely critical in saving his life,” Ms Yin told 9News.

“He had suffered a significant injury to his upper left thigh and also some significant blood loss as well.”

Paramedics transported the former Navy diver to Townsville Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.

Rick Bettua was mauled by a bull shark while spearfishing in the Great Barrier Reef. (Facebook)

In 2017 Rick helped save the life of his friend Glenn Dickson after he was attacked by a shark while spearfishing with him in North Queensland.

After the attack, he spoke to 60 Minutes about the importance of people around you knowing how to respond.

“Everybody had a job to do and everybody knew what their job was,” he said.

Today Glenn Dickson, who lost his leg in the 2017 attack, said he was shocked by the incident.

“This is not about me and is an extremely traumatic time for Rick & his family,” he said on Facebook.

“We are all trying to come to terms with what’s happened.”

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