Nineteen-year-old Elyse Frankcom was leading a swimming with dolphins encounter in waters off western Australia on Saturday when the shark bit into her hip and buttocks.
“As the shark bit her, it brushed aside a fairly large man who grabbed hold of the tail of the shark, which then made it let go,” Fremantle Sea Rescue senior skipper Frank Pisani said.
There were reportedly two dolphins by Ms Frankcom’s side when she dived into the seven-metre deep water and a shark came up from the bottom and bit into her.
Ms Frankcom has had surgery for her injuries and was in a stable condition in hospital on Sunday, and was expected to be released soon.
Media reports said the unnamed hero refused to speak to journalists when the tour boat returned to dock. “All I want is the girl to be OK,” he reportedly said.