Thursday, December 07, 2006

Teenager loses leg in shark attack!

A shark ripped off part of the leg of a 15-year-old tourist on Saturday as he swam at a beach in Australia's remote southwest, officials said.

Zak Golebiowski, from South Australia state, was attacked as he body-surfed with a brother and a friend about 40 meters (yards) offshore at Wharton Beach, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) south of the Western Australia state capital of Perth, said police Constable Katrina Luke.

The youth's right leg was severed above the knee and his left leg badly mauled, but family
members and witnesses on the beach managed to stem the bleeding until an ambulance arrived and took the victim to a nearby hospital, Luke said.

He was later flown to Royal Perth Hospital for further treatment and was in a serious but stable condition, Luke said.

Shark attacks are relatively common in Australian waters, which are home to some of the world's deadliest sea beasts including the Great White Shark. The type of shark involved in Saturday's attack wasn't known.

The beach was closed until further notice.

In January, a scuba diver was mauled by a great white near Perth. Less than a week earlier, a woman was killed in an attack by several sharks off Australia's east coast.

Scientists say there are an average of 15 shark attacks a year in Australian waters — one of the highest rates in the world — and just over 1 per year are fatal.


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