The mother of a young Perth woman who was attacked by a shark says her daughter will not want the animal to be destroyed.
Elyse Frankcom, 19, was attacked on Saturday by the unidentified, three-metre shark as she led an underwater dolphin tour in waters off Garden Island, about 50 kilometres south of Perth.
Linda Frankcom says her daughter underwent several hours of surgery in which fragments of the shark’s teeth were removed from Elyse’s lower body.
She says her daughter plans to return to the water once she has recovered and that Elyse would not want the shark harmed.
“There’s no way she would want that shark hunted down – she had entered into their territory and she knew she was at risk entering into there,” she said.
Linda Frankcom also says Elyse has been in good spirits throughout the ordeal.
“She was conscious through the whole thing and she was in pretty good spirits, so she’s a bit of a joker sometimes so she was joking around and laughing but obviously in a bit of pain as well,” she said.
Department of Fisheries spokesman Tony Cappelluti said the shark was reportedly a great white or a whaler shark, but he was yet to confirm the species.
Elyse was saved from the jaws of the shark by a man on the dive who grabbed the shark by the tail as it attacked her.
Skipper of Fremantle Sea Rescue, Frank Pisani, said as the shark bit Ms Frankcom, it brushed past a “fairly large” man on the tour who grabbed it by the tail.
“She started to sink to the bottom but he grabbed hold of her and brought her to the surface and got her back on board the boat,” he said.
Ms Frankcom, who is deeply passionate about dolphins, declared on Facebook earlier this month that she “wouldn’t give in my job for the world”.
In another posting Ms Frankcom said she was aware of the risk sharks posed but was not worried about an attack.
“Hasn’t stopped hearing bout these 3 great whites … if I get attacked or die, at least I die happy and doin the thing I love,” she wrote.
“Time 2 use our shark shields soon maybe.”
Ms Frankcom was reportedly wearing a shark shield at the time, which sends out electronic impulses to deter the creatures.
The site of the attack is just kilometres from where 51-year-old Brian Guest was taken by a large great white when he was diving in December 2008.
In August this year, Busselton man Nick Edwards, 31, was killed by a shark when he was surfing at Gracetown beach, south of Perth.