Swedes use ropes, towels to save Briton who lost foot to shark in Australia

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - A Swedish couple on holiday in Australia were hailed for saving a British man whose foot was bitten off and another who was injured in a shark attack off a popular tourist beach.

Billy Ludvigsson, an ambulance nurse, and Emma Andersson, an emergency room nurse, were on a snorkeling trip off the Whitsunday Islands on Tuesday, when they heard screams as they were climbing back into their boat.

When the two injured men were brought aboard, the couple jumped into action, making a tourniquet from ropes and towels for the man whose foot was bitten off.

"The bleeding was severe, life-threatening at first," Ludvigsson told reporters on Wednesday.

"I think we might have actually saved his life."

The duo said the injured men, Alistair Raddon and Danny Maggs, were "really cool" and cracking jokes as the boat sped back to shore.

"He was in pain of course, but he was amazing," Ludvigsson said of Raddon, who had lost his foot.

Raddon and Maggs were out of surgery and recovering on Wednesday.

"We have been advised they are in good spirits," Tourism Whitsundays Chief Executive Tash Wheeler said in a statement.

After five shark attacks in the Whitsundays over the past year, including one death, the tourism body has urged immediate government funding for daily air surveillance in specific bays to watch out for sharks.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)