Teen's shark terror: Two hours treading water
A CAREFREE day of fishing could have ended in tragedy for 14-year-old Lochie Brodie and his family.
The Tannum Sands State High School student was rescued on Sunday afternoon near Gladstone Harbour, after spending about two hours treading water. He was recovering at his Benaraby home yesterday where he spoke about the accident.
"(I thought) 'I'm going to die'," he said.
"(I was) not sure what to do (so) I just lay on my back and looked at the moon."
Lochie was in a boat off Gladstone Harbour with his grandparents when he lost his grip on a bar and went overboard. He was not wearing a life-jacket, a spokesperson for Queensland Ambulance Services said.
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He said he blacked out temporarily on hitting the water and hit his chest hard when he fell.
"I felt like I couldn't breathe," he said.
His grandfather, concentrating on steering the boat, did not notice his grandson fall. Lochie believes it was at least half an hour before his grandparents realised he was missing. The place where he went overboard was not far from Curtis Island.
"(I thought) I'll go to the closest island, I'll swim there," he said.
But the current was going the wrong way. Instead he had no choice but to try to stay afloat until help came.
Lochie said a shark approached him while he was in the water.
"A big shark showed up about four to five metres away," he said.
"When I saw it I thought, 'okay, it goes for things that move'.
"I just sat there and thought 'go away' and it did."
Lochie was forced to watch as numerous boats went past, without seeing him. Finally a private boat spotted him.
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"It was the happiest feeling in my life," Lochie said when he realised he would be rescued.
"I was tired, very tired, I thought I was going to black out.
"When (the rescuers saw me) they got me out and said it was all over the radio.
"They took me in and offered me a popper."
QAS met Lochie and his rescuers onshore and the boy was taken to Gladstone Hospital. Doctors were concerned he could have swallowed a large amount of salt water.
He was given the all clear by the hospital to return home yesterday morning, with minor cuts and bruises to his arm and leg and sore limbs from treading water.
Lochie's mother Natalie Bevan was happy to have her son back safe and sound.
Ms Bevan said she was not aware he had gone missing until being notified of his rescue.
"Thank you to everyone who was out there looking for him," she said.
She had some simple advice for her son in the future: "stay inside the boat".