Shark victim ‘wouldn’t want rogue creature culled’
GOLD Coast shark attack victim Rob Pedretti would be 'angry' at the monster great white that killed him but would not want the rogue creature culled, his best mates say.
They have also revealed that Mr Pedretti, 60, had spoken just weeks ago about how he was 'living the dream' after having recently retired from his lifelong job as a tiler.
And they told how the two hero surfers who tried to fight off the 3m shark in a valiant attempt to save the Tugun tradie were 'struggling' with shock and grief.
Mr Pedretti was surfing with his mate Frank and other boardriders in front of the Salt Village estate at Kingscliff about 10am on Sunday when the shark struck, latching onto his left thigh and causing what police described as 'catastrophic' injuries.
Frank and another Gold Coast surfer named Mark put their own lives on the line to try and save Mr Pedretti as the shark continued to circle, but he died on the beach,
Mr Pedretti's surfing buddies gathered at their favourite surf spot at Tugun on Monday morning to pay tribute to their lost mate and laud the bravery of Frank and Mark.
They told how Mr Pedretti had never married and was happiest surfing around the world, riding his pushbike and spending time with his mates
"He loved the water, he loved being out with the boys - he was always a character," close mate Craig Tulloch said.
"He was a lovely guy, everyone loved him. He loved surfing and he loved life. We're going to miss him."
Mr Pedretti's friends said it could very nearly have been a triple fatality after the shark continued to circle following the attack, and then 'chased' Frank and Mark as they brought Mr Pedretti to shore.
"It chased them all the way to shore," Mr Tulloch said.
"It bumped Mark's board - put a ding in it - on the way in. They were very lucky to get him in (without being attacked themselves)."
Another friend, Kevin Parsons, said: "Frank believes that if Mark wasn't there - if it was just him and Robbo - Frank wouldn't be here either and I believe that as well. They're the heroes."
The killer shark was being hunted by Department of Fisheries officers but Mr Pedretti's mates said he would not want it culled.
"We're in the shark's waters," Mr Tulloch said.
"You jump over a fence and there's a dog in the backyard wanting to attack you, then it's your choice isn't it? He'd (Mr Pederetti) be angry about it though, don't worry about that!"
Mr Tulloch shared fond memories of one of his last surfs with Mr Pedretti.
"We were just surfing out here (at Tugun) a few weeks ago," he recalled.
"It was just one of those perfect days - only small waves, we were on the longboards, and we were just going wave for wave.
"Robbo turned around and said 'this is the life, this is retirement'. And I've gone, 'yeah Robbo, this is it mate'. He was the happiest he's ever been …."
Mr Pedretti's friends are planning a memorial paddle-out for him at Tugun this weekend.
Originally published as Shark victim 'wouldn't want rogue creature culled'