Moment Italian Adventurer, 20, Loses Leg While Fighting Off 20ft Shark

20-year-old Italian adventurer fighting off a 20-foot shark in Australia in an attack that cost him a leg.

The disturbing video, filmed by Matteo Mariotti himself, shows him wrestling with the apex predator after he was attacked while snorkelling in Queensland, in north-western Australia.

The young man from Parma can be seen wrestling for what seems like an eternity before he manages to make his way back to shore in a pool of blood, with one of his legs missing.

Matteo shared the footage online himself, saying he started recording after the shark had grabbed hold of his leg with its jaws, thinking he was filming his last moments.

The young man, who is currently recovering in hospital after having what remained of his lower left leg amputated below the knee. Is quoted in Italian media saying: “I started this video a few moments after the last bite. I wanted to say goodbye, I never thought I’d survive that monster.”

WARNING: GRAPHIC AND DISTRESSING CONTENT

@matteo_mariotti__/CEN

Matteo, who is passionate about marine biology and who will now reportedly need at least two or three more operations, explained: “I needed to relax and I thought I’d take a swim not far from the shore.

“I put on the mask with the snorkel but I certainly wouldn’t have gone far. I also took a small camera to film the fish, as I always do, but after a few steps in the water, I felt a terrible pang in my foot.”

Matteo, who was in Australia for a year of work experience before starting university. Had barely got into the water when he was attacked by the shark, which approached him from behind.

The shark reportedly measured up to 6 metres (19.6 feet) long, with Italian media saying it could have been a tiger or a bull shark.

Matteo said: “I no longer have a leg, but I’m alive.”

Sad End Of Beached Basking Shark

He added: ” In one second it reached my entire leg and began to drag me away.

“Until at a certain point, I managed to grab his head with my hands: I tried to widen that big mouth and with difficulty. I freed my leg, even though from the knee down I understood that there was nothing left.

“Then I started swimming towards the shore as fast as I could.”

Matteo Mariotti poses in undated photo. He was attacked by a shark in Australia. (@matteo_mariotti__/CEN)

After reaching the shore, the young man was rescued by his friend. Named as nurse and diving instructor Tommaso.

Tommaso provided first aid before Matteo was helicoptered to a hospital in Brisbane.

After sharing the footage online, Matteo said: “I lost a lot of blood and my leg, I don’t know if they will cut it off entirely or if it will stay in half but it doesn’t matter now.

“You are my heroes, you are giving me the strength to carry on with your messages and your calls, my only dream is to see you again. Sorry if I can’t answer you but I’m very tired and my head hurts. Tommaso. I owe you my life. I’ll go back home, I love you.”

He also said, in response to the numerous netizens wishing him well: “Thank you all for the love and support you are giving me.”


To find out more about the author, editor or agency that supplied this story – please click below.
Story By: Joseph GolderSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Central European News

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