Australian earns bravery award for grabbing shark, rescuing snorkeller

PERTH, Australia (AP) - An Australian has earned a bravery award for grabbing a 3.7m great white shark by the tail as it mauled a snorkeller.

Mr Trevor Burns received the Star of Courage on Monday, March 25, for grappling with the shark and then rescuing its victim, Ms Elyse Frankcom, off the southwest coast town of Rockingham in 2010. The only higher Australian civilian award for bravery is the Cross of Valor.

Ms Frankcom was a 19-year-old guide showing dolphins to a group of a dozen tourist snorkellers including Mr Burns when the shark clamped her thighs in its jaws.

Mr Burns says he clung to the tail for several seconds despite its violent thrashing before the shark released Ms Frankcom and swam away.

Ms Frankcom has largely recovered from her injuries.

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