VIDEO: I SURVIVED A SHARK ATTACK! (Paul De Gelder) * 2024
VIDEO: I SURVIVED A SHARK ATTACK! (Paul De Gelder) * 2024

Paul de Gelder is actually a shark attack survivor, environmentalist, adventurer, and speaker

Today, travels the world as a top motivational speaker, passionate environmentalist, adventurer and mentor to school kids. He has spoken to diverse audiences that range from the United Nations in New York and the US Navy in San Diego, to Anzac Day military celebrations, multimillion-dollar corporations and charity organisations.

Stepping away from full time Navy Service in August 2012, after continuing to instruct Navy Divers for a further three and a half years, Paul has also been a guest on every major Australian TV talk show and many in the U.S. He starred as a guest trainer on the Biggest Loser Australia, and has co-hosted six documentaries for Discovery Channel’s Shark Week including swimming with bull sharks – the species that attacked him – and catching crocodiles. Paul also became part of an anti-poaching team in Africa to hunt poachers and film the amazing work done by the Rangers there for Fearless, aired on NatGeo.

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Growing up in Australia’s suburbs, Paul never really felt like he fitted in

The 42-year-old was left swimming in his own blood but has described being savaged by the shark as “just a bad day at work for me”. Mr De Gelder was attacked by the bull shark in the Sydney harbour in 2009 and said the beast dragged him down as “two rows of 36 razor blades” shredded through his flesh.

The former Navy clearance driver was doing a routine military exercise with the Australian Navy when the shark ripped off his right lower arm and leg. In 2011, he wrote No Time for Fear: How a Shark Attack Survivor Beat the Odds, detailing his recovery. Mr De Gelder also participates in Shark Week, a week-long TV programming block on the US Discovery Channel dedicated to educating audiences about the beast, every year.

Growing up in Australia’s suburbs, Paul never really felt like he fitted in. Feeling like his life was out of his control, he began to self harm, and eventually turned to drugs. But something in Paul always told him that there was a world out there that he needed to explore – he just didn’t know how to access it. Despite the despair of losing two limbs, and his career as a daredevil diver, Paul left nothing to chance when it came to his recovery. He fought through excruciating pain, smashing challenge after challenge, while amazing the medical staff with his will to succeed.

Inspiring people, conservation, and diving

Paul’s inspiring story, as detailed in his autobiography No Time for Fear, takes the saying “never say die” to a whole new level. His story has the power to mesmerise audiences in a way few other speakers can.

Paul de Gelder, it’s been a fast-paced, complex, and powerful relationship with the big blue so far. From a childhood dotted with happy memories linked to the ocean, to first starting his diving career as an Australian Navy Clearance Diver, to losing two limbs to a bull shark in 2009, to now being a passionate advocate for shark and ocean conservation through motivational speaking, writing, and TV presenting on programs like Discovery Channel’s Shark Week – Paul de Gelder has certainly cultivated some pretty profound thoughts when it comes to the ways that we as humans interact with the ocean.

Focuses on the subject of resilience and its vital role in personal and professional development. Through personal experiences and stories, Paul emphasizes the importance of resilience in overcoming adversity. Embracing uncomfortable change as a catalyst for growth, understanding the lessons learned from facing challenges and setbacks. Lessons drawn from military experiences highlight the significance of discipline, teamwork, and adaptability in thriving in high-risk environments. Additionally, personal insights from surviving a life-threatening shark attack shed light on the psychological and physical challenges of recovery. Developing a resilient mindset, including the power of positive thinking and self-belief.

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