A 37-year-old Queensland woman is recovering in a hospital on the Thai resort island of Phuket after being bitten by what she believes is a shark in shallow waters.
Jane Neame, who is six months pregnant, had to be rescued by her partner, Robert Passmore, as she screamed for help after the attack.
“I’m pregnant, so I didn’t want to get too anxious. I wanted to stay calm,” Neame told local newspaper Phuket Gazette.
Ms Neame was in waist-deep water amid breaking waves when she was bitten on her left foot. The bite severed a tendon.
“It’s very painful. It severed my tendon. The fish took it away,” she said.
“I may have stood on it and then it bit me. It’s hard to say because it bit underneath my foot and on top,” she added.
“I felt it tear at me. It felt like a shark. I’m from Queensland, so we have sharks there, but I wouldn’t have expected sharks to be here,” she told Phuket Gazette.
A spokesman for the Bangkok Hospital Phuket, Piyarat Techamanasikul, said it was unclear if the injury was caused by a bite from a shark.
Deep sea divers in Phuket say it is rare to see sharks in the seas near the resort island and even in more open water.
Mr Piyarat said Ms Neame had undergone successful surgery, but it was still too early to say if she will have full use again of the affected toes on her left foot.
“She underwent surgery yesterday, and as of now it’s just one day ago, so (we’ll) see some progress,” he told AAP. “It’s in progress, so it’s not a definite result as yet.”
The incident happened on Tuesday, the third day of the couple’s week-long holiday. They will now spend it mainly at the hospital.
However, Ms Neame said they would return to Thailand.
“I’m not scared. I love the ocean,” she told local media.