29 March 2005

British tourist almost eaten alive by shark

A British holidaymaker has described how he narrowly escaped being eaten alive by a giant shark in South Africa.

Mark Currie, 32, was on a shark-spotting expedition when the 18ft Great White shark attacked a metal viewing cage he was dangling in off the port of Hermanus, near Cape Town.

Mr Currie told The Sun newspaper that the shark launched a frenzied attack on the cage, ramming through the top of it to come within inches of the shocked tourist.

"It just seemed immense - this huge mass of muscle and power ripping the cage apart," the retail manager, from Barrow-in Furness, Cumbria, told the paper.

"I still can't believe I got out of there alive. Every time I shut my eyes I can see the shark's teeth closing in."

Remarkably, Mr Currie managed to escape unhurt after climbing out of the cage and being pulled to safety by the crew of the boat he was traveling in.

The frightening incident was captured on Mr Currie's camcorder by a fellow tourist.

Shark viewing trips have been blamed for a spate of recent attacks in South Africa.

A 77-year-old woman was killed by a shark in the same area, just weeks before Mr Currie was attacked.


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