Real-life Bite Club
The people who inspired the new Aussie TV series.
Bite Club is a unique new crime thriller, that takes place in a small Australian beachside town.
Detectives Zoe Rawlings and Dan Cooper are shark attack survivors, with a shared history. Years after they’ve lost touch, Zoe and Dan find themselves thrown back together, teaming up to hunt a serial killer.
They must put their personal demons aside, and work alongside one another to protect the locals and solve the mystery.
Sound a little far-fetched? Well, Bite Club is actually a real Australian organisation, and its existence was the inspiration for the show.
The club was founded by shark attack survivor Dave Pearson, and now has over 300 members worldwide.
It offers a support system for victims and their families, who struggle physically and mentally in the wake of the trauma.
In the last decade, shark attacks in Australia have reached record-breaking numbers, often with at least five severe cases in the summer months.
Experts put it down to overpopulated holiday destinations, and climate change forcing the marine life closer to shore.
In 2011, Pearson was bitten on the arm by a three metre bull shark, off the coast of New South Wales. Survival instinct kicked in, and he managed to make it back to shore. He waited over three hours before paramedics came to his rescue, and lost about 40% of his blood.
In the years that followed, Pearson “forgave the ocean for what happened,” and the experience inspired him to set up Bite Club.
The club aims to get surfers and survivors back in the water, and reap the benefits of overcoming their fears.
Pearson worked alongside the producers of the new show, to make the characters more realistic. “They asked me about certain situations, and how I would deal with them mentally,” he told ABC News.
He’s looking forward to the series going to air, and hopes that the actors do justice to the shark attack survivors.
Bite Club premieres Thursday 16 August at 10.30pm, same day as Australia on TVNZ OnDemand.