Friday, February 02, 2007

Man's foot mauled by shark

The man's foot was mauled in the attack off Shelly beach, between Ballina and Lennox Head, about 8am (AEDT) today, police said.

Lacerations to his lower left leg and foot were not life-threatening, said paramedics who airlifted him to Lismore Base Hospital.

He told paramedics that he was attacked from behind as he rode a wave on his boogie board.
"He was catching a wave when the shark bit him ... he didn't see the shark at all," Westpac rescue helicopter pilot David Milnes said.

"He just felt it grab him and he told me he just knew what had happened and yelled out to his mates to get him help.

"Then he got himself to shore and was patched up by ambulance officer before we took him hospital."

Mr Milnes said the surfer was conscious and talking during the flight to hospital.
No-one seems to have seen the shark to identify its size or species.

"His mates didn't even know what happened," the pilot said.

The attack follows an abalone diver's miraculous escape from the jaws of four-metre great white two weeks ago on the NSW south coast.

Eric Nerhus, 41, managed to pull his head and shoulders out from between the shark's jaws after poking it in the eye with his fingers, eight metres below the surface near Cape Howe.

Mr Nerhus suffered only a broken nose and cuts to his torso.

He's believed to have spent up to two minutes inside the shark's mouth, without his air supply, and with his head wedged as the white pointer's teeth rasped across the lead vest credited with saving him from being bitten in two.

The father of two was dragged onto a boat by his son as the shark circled in the bloodstained water.


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