05 September 2005

Australia: Surfer fights off great white shark

Sydney: A 40-year-old surfer fought off a 4m great white shark and survived with cuts to his arm and thigh.

With his two young children watching from the beach, the shark attacked Jake Heron on his surfboard 10m from shore off South Australia state's Eyre Peninsula.

Heron's friend, Craig Materna, who was on his board nearby, said he had heard his friend scream.

"He was freaking out, yelling for help," Materna said. "No one saw the shark come up to him - it knocked him off the board. It pulled him under because the leg rope was attached to him. He kicked and punched the shark."

The shark bit through Heron's surfboard, splitting it in two.

Heron was taken to a local hospital and received 20 stitches in one arm and 40 stitches in his thigh.

The attack came just two weeks after a marine biologist was killed by a shark while diving near the state capital Adelaide. Last December, an 18-year-old surfer was killed by a great white about 1km from the same area.

Source: www.themercury.co.za


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