Married at first bite! Shark attack victim who had his left arm and right hand torn off by two great whites ties the knot in a beach ceremony with the woman who rushed to his aid and saved his life
- Sean Pollard was mauled by two great white sharks in Western Australia in 2014
- ‘It had ripped my forearm off … like a chicken bone,’ Pollard said at the time
- Claire Oakford rushed to help and is credited with saving his life
- The pair have now tied the knot in an intimate beach ceremony
A surfer who was mauled by two great white sharks has married the woman who helped save his life in an intimate beach ceremony.
Sean Pollard, 27, was attacked on a surfing trip in Esperance, Western Australia in 2014, leaving him with half a left arm and no right arm.
He spent the morning at Wylie Bay teaching Claire Oakford to surf, but as she lay on the sand in the afternoon, he was viciously attacked in the water.
She rushed to his aid and her quick thinking and calmness amid the chaos that unfolded is credited with saving his life.
Sean Pollard (pictured left) lost both his arms while surfing, but has since married Claire Oakford (pictured right) who he credits for saving his life
Four years later, the pair tied the knot in an intimate beach ceremony in Bunbury on December 29, a spot the pair frequent often, The West Australian reported.
‘I was a bit nervous at the start of the day,’ Pollard told the publication.
‘We have been through a fair bit together, so it was good to make it official.’
Although he fought the sharks off with his board, the sharks took both of the surfer’s arms in their mouth and dragged him underwater.
‘There was just blood everywhere. It had ripped my forearm off and sucked the meat off my bone, like a chicken bone pretty much,’ Pollard said at the time.
Trying to paddle calmly, Pollard said he remembered seeing the ‘blackest black’ eyes he’d ever seen right in front of him.
Four years later, the pair tied the knot in an intimate beach ceremony in Bunbury on December 29
Ms Oakford said she didn’t realise something was wrong with the surfer until she noticed him struggled to get back to shore.
‘Then I did see him coming in on a wave like body surfing … when he stood up that first time that was when I realised, cause he was sort of lopsided,’ Ms Oakford said at the time.
She rushed to her boyfriend’s side and was one of four people to treat him and transfer him from the beach to the paramedics on his surfboard.
She rushed to her boyfriend’s side and was one of four people to treat him and transfer him from the beach to the paramedics on his surfboard
Pollard, a former electrician from Bunbury, 170km south of Perth, was airlifted 700km from where the brutal attack took place.
Witnesses recalled how Pollard stumbled through the shallow water towards Ms Oakford before collapsing on the beach.
Pollard lost his left arm and right hand in the attack, which he previously described as ‘completely life-changing’.
He spent the morning teaching his then-girlfriend Claire Oakford to surf at Wylie Bay, but as she lay on the sand in the afternoon, Pollard was viciously attacked
Ms Oakland stayed by the surfer’s side every step of the way and helped nurse him back to full health.
In the four years since the terrifying attack, Pollard has endured a number of operations, a year of rehab and competed in snowboard events in Australia.
In 2018, the 27-year-old competed at his first ever Paralympic Games on a snowboard in Pyeongchang in South Korea.
Pollard was mauled by the sharks on a surfing trip in Esperance, Western Australia in 2014, leaving him with half a left arm and no right arm