One of New Zealand’s most dramatic shark attacks occurred at the remote subantarctic Campbell Island on 24 April 1992, when a great white shark mauled meteorological officer Mike Fraser while he was snorkelling with four companions. The shark tore off his arm and then swam away. In an interview published in the Dominion on 28 April 1992, Mike Fraser told reporters from his hospital bed that, ‘[f]irst I knew, it hit me on the side … I got back to the surface and I was face to face with a shark. I started using my knees and feet. … I thought my number was up. … It had a mouthful of my arm and had a feed. The fact my arm came off may have satisfied him a bit’.
Jacinda Amey, who towed Mike Fraser to shore, and pilot John Funnell, who flew the daring 2,000-kilometre rescue mission in his helicopter, were awarded medals for bravery.
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Photograph by John Funnell
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