Snorkeller receives bravery award for 'dragging 12ft great white' off tour guide

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A snorkeller who saved his teenage tour guide's life by dragging a great white shark off her leg has received the Star of Courage award in Australia.

Trevor Burns, 50, received the accolade - the nation's second highest honour for bravery - on Monday for his quick-thinking heroics when he saved Elyse Frankcom off the coast of Rockingham, western Australia.

Miss Frankcom, who was 19 at the time of the attack in October 2010, was leading a group on a dolphin tour off a boat when the shark attacked and had her thigh and bottom in its jaws.

Mr Burns saw the water around her filling up with blood when he decided to grab the tail of the shark, which carried on shaking Miss Frankcom as he valiantly attempted to pull it off her.

According to Sky News, Mr Burns said: "I just thought, 'Get it off her'. I knew she was going to be in trouble and she needed help."

The animal continued to thrash around before finally releasing Miss Frankcom and swimming away.

Mr Burns told ABC News: "As it's come up and latched on to her, it did a double bite and started thrashing around. It was immediately below me and I sort of grabbed it.

"There's not much you can do against a shark that size.

"Obviously holding on to it and whilst she was being bitten, Elyse turned and punched it, so the combination of the two of us fighting back obviously gave it a bad taste."

Miss Frankcom was left sinking and unconscious before Mr Burns swam down four metres and brought her back up to safety on the dive boat, despite the fact the shark could have reappeared at any moment.

A nurse and a paramedic on the boat treated her wounds before they got her to a hospital, reports the Daily Mail.

Miss Frankcom needed 200 stitches to the wound, and says Mr Burns saved her life.

According to ABC News, she said: "What he did that day was beyond brave, beyond courageous, it was just completely out of this world.

"I think he deserves every single thing coming his way."

The pair and their families are now close friends, and Mr Burns accompanied Miss Frankcom on her first dive back in the ocean eleven months after the attack.

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