Saturday 18 November 2017

Irish mum hails hero son who punched shark to save his wife: 'He would do anything for her'

The couple were only ten yards from shore when the attack happened

Dean and Frankie Gonsalves
Dean and Frankie Gonsalves
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

An Irish woman whose son punched a shark after it attacked his wife has hailed him as a 'hero'.

Frankie Gonsalves was snorkeling along the coast of Ascension Island in the South Atlantic on Saturday when a shark bit her foot and calf.

Her husband Dean punched it repeatedly in the head until she managed to escape.

The couple, who have two children, were just ten yards from shore when the vicious attack happened.

Anne O'Donoghue moved to the UK from Limerick when she was 21
Anne O'Donoghue moved to the UK from Limerick when she was 21

After being treated at a local hospital, they were then airlifted to the UK.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader on Monday, Anne O'Donoghue said she is "extremely proud" of her son.

Ms O'Donoghue moved to London when she was 21 but is originally from Janesboro, Co Limerick.

"I am just thankful that he saved Frankie," she told the Leader.

Dean Gonsalves and his wife Frankie Photo: Facebook
Dean Gonsalves and his wife Frankie Photo: Facebook

"He would do anything for her. He is very strong and very kind. I couldn’t ask for a better son. He is a hero but I was proud of him before he did this. Dean is definitely making the news. It is on all the papers over here," she said.

Ms O'Donoghue said the extent of her daughter-in-law's injuries are unclear, but confirmed she would have to have skin grafts.

Her employers, St Helena Government released a statement saying: "SHG can confirm that a member of staff has been involved in an incident on Ascension Island. The person concerned was swimming near the shore and her injuries were attended to at the George Town Hospital."

Ascension Island's council issued a warning to swimmers after the attack. 

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News