A woman swimming off Fitzroy Island near Cairns, Australia, recently proved that true love knows no bounds as she declared “Sharks are beautiful” while medics transported her to hospital following a suspected shark attack. Having suffered injuries to her leg, the woman was flown via helicopter to the hospital where she is now said to be in a stable condition, her love for sharks fully intact.
A video posted by 7News shows the woman in her 20s being wheeled from the air ambulance shouting “I still love sharks! Sharks are beautiful.” Having reportedly suffered lacerations and a suspected fracture to her ankle, it’s possible the declaration was fueled by a generous dose of pain relief but according to a report in the Brisbane Times, the swimmer named Ms Craney is a known shark fanatic, having been in the area to film a shark documentary. The incident actually happened on her day off from filming, as she was swept away, so to speak, by the object of her affections while enjoying a swim.
Craney was filming the YouTube documentary series as part of a seven-person crew, which had come to the island from Sydney to film the self-funded series after Covid-19 prevented them from carrying out their usual businesses. Their videos on YouTube document shark encounters and explorations of shipwrecks off the coast of Fitzroy Island.
Sharks often receive a bad rap in the press, presented as lean, mean killing machines. While these apex predators are highly efficient hunters in marine ecosystems, they actually account for a very small number of human deaths per year. Movies such as Jaws are no doubt somewhat to blame for people’s disproportionate fears that the second they step into the big blue a Great White is coming for them, but according to the Forbes 2019 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, statistics show that if you live in the United States you’re 76 times more at risk from being struck and killed by a bolt of lightning than you are of being fatally attacked by a shark. In Australia, you are more likely to be killed by a cow. I suspect their small, beady eyes and many, many teeth go some way towards putting people on edge, but as this video shows all it takes is a bit of anthropomorphism to see these amazing animals in a whole new light.
It’s not known which particular species got a little too chummy with Craney’s limb, but reef sharks are one of the most common species involved in attacks on humans near Fitzroy Island as they’re lured in by blood released from spearfishing. Some experts have also come forward since Craney’s attack to say that her injuries are more consistent with a red sea bass or giant trevally attack (Australia isn’t exactly in short supply of animals with a little attitude). Whoever the assailant may be, it seems Craney’s response shows that all is forgiven. After all, what is a simple bite to the ankle among friends?