WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: In 1983, three friends were attacked by a 15ft great white shark after being stranded in Australia’s Coral Sea – their horrific ordeal would become the basis for the gruesome 2010 shark attack film The Reef
The sole survivor of a shark attack so terrifying it inspired a hit monster movie said there was nothing he could do when his friends were being gobbled up by a massive 15-foot great white shark out for their blood.
There are few places more terrifying to be stranded than in Australia’s Coral Sea, home to several man-eating sharks including bull sharks, mako sharks and of course the white death.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to a group of three fishermen in July 1983 when their shrimp boat capsized 60 miles offshore in stormy weather.
On that fateful day, 28-year-old Ray Boundy and his crew, Dennis Patrick Murphy, 24, and Linda Anne Horton, 21, were attacked by the monster as they were clinging to the capsized ship.
The shocking attack began hours after their ship sank, leaving them afloat on nothing but a surfboard, a lifebelt, and chunks of Styrofoam made from crab boxes.
Ray recalled seeing a fin break open in the water as the trio drifted, which filled her with an unpredictable fear.
He said: “We didn’t pay him much attention, thinking that if we didn’t upset him, he could leave us alone.”
But tragically, the 15-foot man-eater had other intentions for the crew and began mercilessly pursuing them before moving in.
Ray continued, “He bit my leg under the surfboard so I kicked him with my other foot and he let go.”
Ray was lucky because ten minutes later the creature returned and pounced on Dennis Murphy.
Recalling the horrific incident, a visibly emotional Ray described to Australian news outlet UPI how the young fisherman died.
He continued: Murphy yelled, “He’s got my leg, the bastard’s got my leg”
‘You’re joking,’ I said. ‘But then I could see the blood coming to the surface through the water.’
“,I did not know, what I should do. We had bonded so well for so long… tried so hard. I just didn’t know how to deal with it because we didn’t have a dinghy.
“We didn’t have anything to use as a tourniquet even if we stopped the bleeding. The shark would still come back and I just didn’t know what to do.
“‘The shark came back and I said to Murphy, ‘What are you going to do?’ and he said, ‘You run. Gather all that stuff. Let me,’ and he swam about four or five paces away.”
That was the last time the crew saw Dennis Murphy, who was quickly devoured by the hungry Great White.
Unfortunately for Ray and Linda, it was still hungry.
Ray went on to describe how nothing could be done when the shark returned to save Linda, who died in his arms and the shark’s jaws.
He said: “Lindy was in the sling of the lifebuoy when I saw him coming back.
“I was pretty sure it was the same shark this time. He came next to me as slowly as you want, then turned around and grabbed Lindy’s arms and chest,” Boundy said.
“I was still holding her hand when he shook her about three or four times. She just let out a little scream as soon as it hit, and I knew she was dead almost immediately.”
Ray’s horrific ordeal ended the next day when he was rescued, but the crew’s story was so graphic and gruesome that perhaps it was inevitable that it would be adapted into a film.
2010: The Reef sees five tourists entering the Coral Sea after their ship sank.
Fearful of being pulled into deeper water by the current, the group decides to swim 50km to a remote island, but are attacked by a great white shark along the way.