Shark attack victim Glenn Dickson with fiancee Jessie Lee.
Shark attack victim Glenn Dickson with fiancee Jessie Lee.

Spearfisherman attacked by shark: community digs deep

A Queensland spearfisherman attacked by a shark on Saturday has had one of his legs amputated.

Young father of two Glenn Dickson, 25, of South Mission Beach, was in a stable condition at Cairns Hospital on Sunday night after enduring five hours of surgery, the Cairns Post reported.

A team of 16 doctors worked to remove his right leg.

Family and friends, including his pregnant fiancee Jessie-Lee Janssen, maintained a bedside vigil as the community reached into their pockets to raise almost $20,000 towards a $50,000 target.

Amber Edwards started the GoFundMe campaign for the family, who are expecting their third child in June.

"Glenn has a long battle ahead with his recovery after a shark bite to his leg - an attack that could have potentially been fatal if it wasn't for the quick thinking of his good mates whilst out on a leisurely fishing trip in the beautiful North Queensland,'' the page explained.

"Whilst Glenn recovers (which will not be an easy road ahead) The bills still come flowing in - rent/car payments/insurances/food & fuel etc as well as the addition of Glenn and Jessie Lee's third bundle of joy in June.

"To be able to take this burden off of this wonderful family would help in some ways, ease the pain of watching the man they love tackle the biggest emotional and physical hurdle of his life.

She said bills should be the last thing the Dicksons should have to think about at the moment.

"Glenn is a dedicated man who works two jobs, his second job as a muay thai personal trainer, dedicating his time to helping others," Ms Edwards said.

Mr Dickson had just jumped into the water at a place known as "The Rock" when he was mauled by a large shark.

He suffered massive wounds to his right leg and was bleeding heavily when his friends dragged him into the boat, where they tied a tourniquet around his thigh to slow the bleeding.

He was flown to Cairns Hospital, where distressed family members met him at the landing pad.

Queensland Ambulance senior operations supervisor Neil Noble said everyone was "totally blown away" and labelled it a remarkable story of survival.

Bond University shark attack expert Daryl McPhee told the ABC preventative measures should be taken by anyone spearfishing off the far north Queensland coast.

He said the best method was an independently tested personal shark deterrent.

"It can't eliminate the risk of a shark bite but can reduce it potentially," Dr McPhee said.

"There is one device that creates an electric current around the person in the water … sharks have seven senses, and one of those senses is focussed on detecting very small electrical currents in the water.