How hero Mackay carpenter saved topless sunbaker ‘stabbed by stranger’ on secluded Queensland beach


A hero tradie has revealed how a topless sunbather came within millimetres of dying on a beach after an unprovoked knife attack.

Kaitlin Jones, 23, had been sunbaking on Blacks Beach, 15km north of Mackay, at midday on Monday when an alleged stranger launched the ferocious knife attack.

She suffered multiple stab wounds all over her body before the attacker fled the scene, leaving her covered in blood and begging for her life – with her rescuer saying if the blade had landed an inch from where it had, she could have died.

The local hairdresser crawled to the top of a nearby sand dune where she managed to stand and scream for help as her blood dripped onto the sand.

A 16-year-old boy has since been charged over the incident. 

Kaitlin Jones (pictured) was covered in multiple stab wounds, each about 2cm to 2.5cm wide

Amazingly the knife had bounced off her chest bones, saving her life

Kaitlin Jones (pictured) was covered in multiple stab wounds, each about 2cm to 2.5cm wide. But amazingly, the knife had bounced off her chest bones, saving her life

The 23-year-old woman had been sunbaking on Blacks Beach (pictured), 15km north of Mackay, around midday on Monday when a stranger allegedly launched the ferocious knife attack

The 23-year-old woman had been sunbaking on Blacks Beach (pictured), 15km north of Mackay, around midday on Monday when a stranger allegedly launched the ferocious knife attack

The noise alerted carpenter Gavin Odgaard, 58, working on a nearby building site, who then sprinted to her side while workmates called police.

‘She was yelling “Help! Help! I need help!” and the urgency of her voice just spurred me into action,’ he told Daily Mail Australia. 

‘She had blood running down the side of her face, down her legs, arms, and she had a blood soaked towel pressed against her chest.

‘The first thing she said was: “I’ve been stabbed, I’ve been stabbed – I don’t want to die, I don’t want to die…”

‘It didn’t become apparent just how serious it was until I was within 8-10 meters and I could see all her injuries.’ 

The dad-of-two is a trained first aider and tended injuries on her face, head, neck, chest and legs to stem the blood flow while they waited for emergency services to arrive. 

Kaitlin Jones (left) told Mr Odgaard that her fiancé Dylan Jay Gorham (right) was a miner on night shift who was asleep in their nearby home while she had gone to the beach

Kaitlin Jones (left) told Mr Odgaard that her fiancé Dylan Jay Gorham (right) was a miner on night shift who was asleep in their nearby home while she had gone to the beach

Hero tradie Gavin Odgaard (pictured) has told how a blood-drenched sunbather begged for her life after a savage attack allegedly by a stranger

The victim's screams alerted the carpenter, 58, (pictured, right) working on a nearby building site who then sprinted to her side while workmates called police

The victim’s screams alerted carpenter Gavin Odgaard, 58, (pictured) working on a nearby building site, who then sprinted to her side while workmates called police

He said Ms Jones was covered in multiple stab wounds, each about 2cm to 2.5cm wide, but amazingly the knife had bounced off her chest bones, saving her life.

Just a few millimetres deeper or to the side and the savage stab wounds could have been fatal, he said. 

‘There was no sign of the weapon but clearly it was a rather large knife that had been used,’ he said. 

‘Luckily I think it hit the breastbone and didn’t get through the ribcage or it could have been a lot worse.

‘I could tell the injuries hadn’t hit any arteries and her lungs hadn’t been punctured, but she was covered in blood, including a wound on her head above her temple.

Local hairdresser Kaitlin Jones (pictured) crawled to the top of a nearby sand dune where she managed to stand and scream for help

Local hairdresser Kaitlin Jones (pictured) crawled to the top of a nearby sand dune where she managed to stand and scream for help. She was covered in multiple stab wounds, each about 2cm to 2.5cm wide but amazingly the knife had bounced off her chest bones, saving her life

The victim suffered multiple stab wounds all over her body before the attacker fled the scene (pictured), leaving her covered in blood and fearing she would die at the remote spot

The victim suffered multiple stab wounds all over her body before the attacker fled the scene (pictured), leaving her covered in blood and fearing she would die at the remote spot

‘I just tried to reassure that she was going to be okay – but you never know with knives.’

Mr Ordgaard said Ms Jones had been sunbathing topless at the time of the attack.

He said she told him she had spotted someone walking past her on the lonely beach several minutes before the attack.

Minutes later she suddenly saw a male standing over her before launching the random attack.

‘She’d noticed him walk by,’ said Mr Odgaard. 

‘Then she said within five minutes or so later, she found him over her, stabbing her.

‘It was just a random selection of victim. They make that stuff for horror movies – but apparently it happens in real life too.

Carpenter Gavin Odgaard, 58, was working on a nearby building site on the beachfront (pictured) when he heard her screams who sprinted to her side while workmates called police

Carpenter Gavin Odgaard, 58, was working on a nearby building site on the beachfront (pictured) when he heard her screams who sprinted to her side while workmates called police

‘She had been sunbaking topless on her back on the sand, so I don’t know if this has somehow provoked it, but it’s just bizarre.’

Ms Jones told Mr Odgaard that her fiancé Dylan Jay Gorham was a miner on night shift and was asleep in their nearby home while she had gone to the beach.

She thanked the carpenter for his crucial help as she was helped into an ambulance but he shrugged off the praise.

‘It’s all just instantaneous and you do what you have to do,’ he said. ‘Afterwards I got a bit trembling and agitated, but I’m really happy that she seems to be well.

‘It would have been terrible if she had died.’  

Ms Jones was taken to Mackay Base Hospital in a serious condition but is not believed to have life-threatening injuries. 

Gavin Odgaard said the victim told him she had spotted someone walking past her on the lonely beach (pictured) several minutes before the attack

Gavin Odgaard said the victim told him she had spotted someone walking past her on the lonely beach (pictured) several minutes before the attack

Queensland Police later charged a local 16-year-old boy in connection with the attack after he was allegedly spotted on CCTV running through nearby holiday apartments close to the scene

Queensland Police later charged a local 16-year-old boy in connection with the attack after he was allegedly spotted on CCTV running through nearby holiday apartments close to the scene

Detective Inspector Tom Armitt added: ‘It appears it’s a random attack.’ 

Just after midnight on Tuesday, local police said a 16-year-old boy had been charged in connection with the attack.

‘Detectives from Mackay Criminal Investigation Branch have charged a 16-year-old male with acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm after an alleged stabbing at Blacks Beach yesterday,’ said Queensland Police.

‘The juvenile has been refused bail and will appear at the Mackay Children’s Court on September 14.’



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