Skipper faces investigation
MARITIME Safety Queensland says it will take action against a charter boat skipper if it’s found he deliberately didn’t stop to help shark attack victim John Pengelly.
John, 18, was spearfishing off the coast of Gladstone last weekend when he was attacked by a shark and bitten on the hand.
He claimed a charter boat ignored his requests for help.
The man on the boat hit back this week, and in a statement to the Gladstone Water Police the man said “they were sick to their stomachs with concern” for Mr Pengelly’s safety.
He said they believed they had done everything they could under the circumstances.
A spokesperson for Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) said the investigation would coincide with police interviews of people involved.
It’s understood by The Morning Bulletin that any investigation will be short and could result in a large fine because it is an offence not to help a ship or person in distress at sea.
From his hospital bed in the Royal Brisbane Hospital Mr Pengelly said he had no hard feelings towards the bull shark that attacked him off Heron Island.
He was bitten on his forearm after he caught a fish with his two friends on Lamon Reef on Sunday and underwent microsurgery in Brisbane. Mr Pengelly said he was bleeding profusely but a nearby charter boat refused to take him to Heron Island, instead radioing the island for help.
He was taken to Heron Island by friends before being flown to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.
But despite his injuries, the competitive free diver said he couldn’t wait to get back into the ocean.