Gold Coast skipper used pliers to free his leg

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A Gold Coast skipper who was bitten by a shark was reluctant to come ashore, worried the customers aboard his charter hadn’t caught enough fish.

Fish the Deep Charters skipper Scott Van Burck, 31, was on board his chartered fishing boat about 20 kilometres offshore from Main Beach just before 1pm when one of his customers felt their line pull tight.

The skipper’s mother Tiana Van Burck said her son helped to bring the three foot reef shark aboard.

“One of the customers had caught a three foot reef shark, they brought it to the surface and Scott asked if they wanted to keep it or release it and they said it would be nice to have some flake,” she said.

“It flipped the wrong way and caught onto Scott’s leg.

“Once it had bitten Scott they thought it better to release it rather than have it thrashing about the boat.”

QAS Gold Coast Senior Operations Supervisor Patrick Berry said the shark had latched onto the skipper’s calf and had caused minor lacerations.

“Both the gentleman and the shark are a bit battered and bruised,” he said.

Mr Van Burck said he had to use a pair of pliers to get the reef shark off his leg.

“I just had to prise his teeth open with a pair of pliers and I ripped him off,” he told 7 News Queensland.

Ms Van Burck said her son was being treated at Pindara Private Hospital.

“He is fine, he is just a bit tired, they have been up since four,” she said.

“He said they had a great fishing day, they got quite a nice lot of fish then this happened, the customer said we had better go in, Scott said he was happy to stay out and keep fishing.

“He was thinking what was more important for his customers, that they got more fish than his own needs.”

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