'I'll Never Forget Your Face': Emotional Reunion For Shark Attack Victim & Rescuer
As Justine Barwick lay helplessly bleeding on a boat, she faced the possibility that she was going to die, while her husband and friend raced against time to save her.
What was supposed to be a refreshing swim at the picturesque Cid Harbour in the Whitsundays quickly turned into a scene of horror.
Barwick was attacked by a shark, sustaining severe injuries to her right thigh.
"I felt it," she told The Project's Lisa Wilkinson in an interview.
"I just felt this incredible force that I actually struggle to explain. It slammed into me."
Barwick was one of three people to be attacked in the region in just two months.
Remarkably, despite missing a huge chunk of her thigh, Barwick managed to make her way back onto the boat, where her husband Craig and friend Lynne Moran began desperately administering first aid.
The pair found bandages and began wrapping Barwick's leg to apply pressure.
"There was one point where we probably had about eight bandages on and I looked back over to the wound and it was bleeding through," Moran said.
Barwick said she remembered the pair taking turns to make sure that she was still conscious.
Through tears, her husband recalled how in that moment, he realised it was possible he might lose his wife.
Thankfully, three months after the attack, Barwick is recovering back home in Hobart, following a mammoth 18-hour operation to reconstruct her thigh.
On the Sunday Project, the shark attack victim reunites with her third rescuer, John Hadock, an emergency room doctor and former rescue helicopter crewman who happened to be on a nearby boat.
Barwick told Wilkinson she remembered his face clearly, as she was finally able to hug the man who helped save her life.
"The scene was amazingly organised, Craig and Lynne had done this amazing job, Justine was conscious but very unwell," Hadock recalled.
He told Wilkinson of the moment that stopped him in his tracks, when Barwick asked him whether she was going to die.
"I quickly had to weigh up in that moment what I thought her chances of survival were, and they weren’t good, but they were there."
Hadock described their reunion as a thing of "magic."
Catch their full interview and emotional reunion with Lisa Wilkinson on The Sunday Project from 6:30pm.
Contact the author: firstname.lastname@example.org