Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Punching in the nose technique saw on TV saved surfer!

A surfer who fended off a great white shark by punching it in the nose said he learned the tactic by watching television shows such as the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week."

Brian Anderson, 36, remained hospitalized Monday but was expected to make a full recovery from lacerations on his ankle and calf.

"It's like your worst nightmare," Anderson said by phone from his Portland hospital bed, though he also called the attack "an adventure which has made life that much more precious and interesting."
Anderson was at a popular surfing spot near Tillamook Head, south of the community of Seaside, on Saturday when something grabbed his leg. Realizing it was a shark, he slugged the predator repeatedly in the nose to get it to loosen its grip.

He said he learned from television shows, including the Discovery Channel's "Shark Week," that a shark's nose is its most sensitive area.

When the shark finally let go, Anderson swam back to shore, dragging his badly wounded leg behind him. Other surfers called 911 after he pulled himself onto the rocks near his home in Seaside, about 80 miles northwest of Portland.

"It felt like getting clamped in a bear trap," he said. "It was a piercing pain and then it went numb."
Anderson was hospitalized Saturday, then released Christmas Day in time to open presents with his wife and 10-year-old son. When he returned for a checkup that evening, doctors in Seaside became troubled by the depth of the wound and the possibility of bone damage, as well as infection, and instructed him to check himself into a hospital in Portland.

Anderson's wife, who is also a surfer, believes her husband will soon be back in the water, but she is less thrilled at the thought of their son taking to the waves.

"We all went through some real trauma," said Lynnet Anderson, 42. "Brian, he's always going to be the one far out there waiting for that perfect set to come in. But I'm not sure I'll ever let my 10-year-old back in the water."

Monday, December 26, 2005

Surfer survives attack by great white shark

A SURFER survived an attack by a Great White shark — by punching it on the nose.The predator bit Brian Anderson, 30, at the resort of Seaside, Oregon.But he managed to turn the tables and scare off the 10ft shark by thumping its snout.He suffered lacerations on his calf and ankle but was “conscious, alert and smiling” as he was taken to hospital.All other surfers fled the water.

A witness said: “The shark didn’t get seconds.”

Fear of sharks affects diving industry

ADELAIDE'S scuba diving industry is being slowly crippled by the growing fear of shark attacks.It will launch a "fightback campaign" in the media and at shopping precincts in the new year, telling divers it is safe to enter Adelaide's deep waters.

Glenelg Scuba Diving says numbers joining its learn-to-dive classes have recently dropped by about 50 per cent and its experienced dive sessions are now half full.

The company conducts about eight large group dives a week at or near the Glenelg tyre reef, where marine biologist Jarrod Stehbens was killed by a shark while scuba diving in August.
This followed the death of Nick Peterson, who was killed by a great white at West Beach last December.

The diving industry woes coincide with concerns by Holdfast Bay Council Mayor Ken Rollond that beachgoers may also avoid the water if shark sightings increase, affecting local seaside economies.

Glenelg Scuba Diving instructor Von Milner said shark hysteria was hurting the diving industry.
She said the Glenelg dive business would have closed its doors if not for the booming sales of its shark shield devices, which cost $600 each.

"Our learn-to-dive classes have dropped by more than half, which is a huge amount," Ms Milner said.

"Normally, over December and January, we would be training about 100 people per month – it's less than half that now."

Ms Milner said there had been an over-reaction to recent shark sightings, creating a shark paranoia.

"We're all in this mad panic about telling everyone where the sharks are, but the sharks have been there for years," she said.

"When you send up helicopters to look for them, then of course you're going to find more.
"All you're doing is scaring people out of the water for no good reason.

"The biggest problem is the perception."

Ms Milner said the Diving Industry Association would launch a fightback campaign early next year to reassure people that scuba diving was safe.

Mr Rollond said he was concerned the fear of the deep water might extend to the shallows off Glenelg if shark sightings continued to increase.

"Whether the beach is looked upon at this stage as a risky place and people will drift away from it – that may happen," Mr Rollond said.

"But I think we have to face reality and that is that deep water seems relatively risky right now, but in shallow water there's no evidence it's more dangerous than it was two or three years ago.
"From what I'm hearing, there's still plenty of shark sightings.

"The fact that's happening, I would try and find an alternative pursuit (than scuba diving).
"As far as the dive people are concerned, that's a risk they will have to address themselves."

Thursday, December 22, 2005

It cost him his fingers but not his life!

A California man was attacked by shark today on Maui's south shore. Authorities say the attack happened just before noon at Keawakapu Beach.

The victim, 29-year-old Jonathon Genant, is a Web site designer from San Diego. He told KGMB9 that he thought he was dreaming.

Genant said he was swimming hundreds of yards from shore, in about 30 feet of water, when the shark came straight up from the bottom with its jaws open three feet wide.

"His jaws were just humongous," said Genant.

At first, Genant thought it was a Great White shark.

From his hospital bed in Maui, he said he put out his hands to push the shark away when it chomped down.

"It was really a quick powerful motion," Genant recalled. "I heard the bones snap and from that point I knew I was in trouble."

Four hundred yards out from Keawakapu Beach, and losing blood, Genant started kicking to shore on his back. He said he was in terror, just waiting for that shark to hit him again.

"I yelled a couple times to the people on the beach," he said. "I yelled out 'Help! Help!' I didn't know they could hear me."

People on the beach heard his screams and construction worker Alex Stiller swam out to help.
"He was holding his hand up and it was just pouring blood," said Stiller.

As Genant was being rushed to Maui Memorial Hospital, fire crews put up a helicopter and spotted a 12-foot tiger shark. Lifeguards on jet skis chased the animal into deeper water. Shark warnings quickly went up at beaches all over the south shore as police ordered tourists not to go in past their ankles.

"Probably we'll take the next two weeks out of the ocean, might go to the pool," said Melanie Holmes, a tourist from Toronto.

Genant has his own advice for ocean goers tonight: don't swim alone and don't swim in murky water 400 yards from shore. This is from a man feeling lucky tonight to have just eight fingers.
"Just with the size of this guy I felt quite fortunate I could get away as I did," said Genant.
The attack took off Genant's pinkie finger, most of his ring finger and part of his hand.
A two-mile stretch of beach remains closed from Kihei to Wailea until Thursday at noon.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Shark sightings call for better safety measures

A SPATE of great white shark sightings along Adelaide's metropolitan beaches has triggered calls for steel mesh to be installed at the city's most popular beach.It is 12 months yesterday since a great white killed 18-year-old surfer Nick Peterson just 200m off West Beach, one of the city's most popular bathing spots.

State Government figures show there have been 29 shark sightings off metropolitan beaches in the past six months.

Glen Jones, a charter fisherman from Adelaide, said shark numbers increased after storms when they came in from the deep to feed off reefs.

"I don't swim out deep - I won't go in above my head, no way," said Mr Jones, 38. "It's a ridiculous thing to do."

Anglers further out in Gulf StVincent say the sharks are aggressive and hungry.

Fisherman John Carman said he still "gets the shivers" just talking about his encounter with a 4.5m great white shark three weeks ago, while fishing 10km off northern Adelaide.

"I've seen sharks jump out of the water in films - but to see it in real life is just bloody scary," he said.

Mr Carman, 64, laid a baited crab net on the bed of the gulf about 15m below his 6m aluminium fishing boat. At about 10.30am, without warning, the shark emerged from the water close to the right side of the boat and became airborne, so close Mr Carman said "I could have touched it with my hand".

Three anglers - Mr Carman, John Nicholls and Adelaide sculptor Silvio Apponyi - were drenched when the shark jumped about 2m into the air and splashed down 5m from the boat.

Theirs is the latest in a series of startling shark encounters fishermen have reported more than 5km off Adelaide beaches.

The sightings have led the local member for popular Glenelg beach, Duncan McFetridge, to call for a stainless steel barrier to protect swimmers.

"Because of the recent history of shark attacks and the large number of shark sightings close to shore, some form of permanent barrier is essential," Dr McFetridge said.

"Advice I have been given by shark experts is that there will be more attacks along our coastline unless more intensive measures to protect swimmers are undertaken," he said.

Two south Adelaide beaches, Christies and Port Noarlunga, were evacuated due to shark sightings on Wednesday.

Since the fatal attack on Peterson, University of Adelaide marine biologist Jarrod Stehbens, 23, was killed while diving 5km off Glenelg in August.

Shark attacks also injured two surfers in September, off the Eyre Peninsula and the southwest coast of Kangaroo Island.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Is cage diving responsible for rising fear of sharks?

The cage is lowered half into the blue-green swell of the southern Atlantic. At the skipper's command we don wet suits and masks and clamber in, four of us. A crew member throws a foul-smelling mix of shark liver and tuna (chum) into the water, spawning an “odour corridor” discernible over a kilometre away. Lunch is served.

Minutes later, a dark shape is spotted about 200 metres away. Then 100 metres. “Dive, dive!” A deep breath and we sink to the bottom of the cage. The world has turned grey and silent. We stare into the murk. Nothing. We stare, eyes wide and unblinking. Then it comes. A shadow looming huge and fast. It rolls and a white belly appears. It turns and makes another pass, jaws slightly open. Reach out and you could slip your hand in. We have just met Carcharodon carcharias, a great white shark.

The spectacle, six kilometres off the South African coast at Joubert's Dam, was a typical excursion for White Sharks Project, one of eight cage-diving firms at Gansbaai, two hours from Cape Town. The tourists who each paid about $220 were mesmerized by five great whites, the biggest about 3.5 metres long.

Not everyone is thrilled. Critics accuse the industry of meddling with nature and possibly increasing the number of attacks on humans. Divers and surfers have had a spate of close shaves since last November when a shark ate Tyna Webb, a 77-year-old taking a morning swim at Fish Hoek.

“Kayakers, surfers and bathers have been frightened out of the water at Fish Hoek. They are scared,” said Craig Bovim, a diver who set up Shark Concern after surviving an attack in 2002. For some, it is taboo to name the predator. They prefer euphemisms such as the “men in grey suits” or “tax collectors.”

Attacks have risen only slightly from the 1990s, said Ryan Johnson, a PhD student at the University of Pretoria, but increasingly the attacks are concentrated in Western Cape. Some blame cage diving. The theory is that by using chum to attract sharks, the industry makes great whites associate humans with food.

“It is a Pavlovian principle. The animal comes to get its reward,” Bovim said. “They get comfortable with humans, go to investigate and something might happen.”

Cage-dive operators, who operate with government permits, dismiss concerns. “Unless we're waving frantically, the sharks don't even know it's humans on the boat or in the cage,” said Andre Hartmann, who survived an encounter in 1977. “I let my kids go spear fishing.”

An unpublished study submitted to the journal Biological Conservation backs both sides. Of 300 great whites tracked at Mossel Bay, south of Cape Town, four became “conditioned” by cage diving. Over several months the four met the boats more quickly and learned how to steal the bait. The industry needs to be more cautious, said Johnson, the main author. “The big issue is making sure the sharks do not get the bait.”

But the study did not prove any conditioning at Gansbaai; apparently the great white sharks there were more nomadic and had less time to learn. Johnson said cage diving could raise ecological awareness, but was uneasy with billing it as an adrenaline-fuelled adventure sport.

Facts or fiction?

Beyond a doubt, the marine animals most feared by beach goers, swimmers, and surfers are the some 300 species of sharks found in the seven seas. Many times along the Gulf of Mexico and eastern U. S. coasts, I have seen utter panic develop by swimmers at the sight of the dorsal fin of a porpoise gleefully cavorting in the water off shore. Despite the vast amount of fiction, legend, horror stories and wishful thinking written on the relationship of sharks to humans, there are relatively few facts available on the subject.

Public opinion concerning shark attacks on humans seems to range all the way from “all sharks are dangerous,” to “no shark is dangerous to man.” Scientific evidence indicates, however, that the fact of the matter is to be found somewhere between these equally untenable theories.

Make no mistake about it: under certain circumstances, a few species of sharks may attack humans with devastating consequences. But, on a worldwide basis only 30 or so documented attacks are reported each year, with the majority occurring in Australian or South African waters. The chance of you being a victim of a shark attack in the waters of the North American coasts are extremely slim, regardless of the myths created by Hollywood script writers.

Shark experts agree that three species are responsible for the vast majority of documented attacks on humans: great white shark, tiger shark, and the hammerhead shark. Other species including the lemon, mako, blue, sand, nurse, and white-tipped sharks have been rarely incriminated. It is a wise person, however, who heeds the warning of “never trust any type of shark.”
Sharks first appeared in the oceans of the Earth some 300,000,000 years ago, and have reigned supreme in that environment ever since. The forces of biological evolution have molded them into the ultimate predator with no natural enemies except man. They have remained relatively unchanged for the past 80,000,000 years. It is hard to improve on perfection.

Sophisticated research over the past 30 years or so has revealed some amazing facts about these so-called primitive animals. One newly established fact is that sharks are not long-range prowlers of the oceans of the Earth. Rather, they have a definite, somewhat limited, home range. It is now believed that when a shark attacks a human, it is usually not out of hunger as was formerly believed, but, rather, as a response to an invasion of the fish’s personal territory.

Studies at the University of Miami have shown that sharks are resistant to all types of organisms that cause disease. Their blood contains primitive antibodies that even destroy certain human viruses and the bacteria causing a type of food poisoning in man; disease agents they have not and will never encounter.

Their sense of smell can readily detect one part of blood in 10,000,000 parts of water, and their sense of hearing can pick up low frequency sound waves, such as those of a struggling fish more than a mile away.

The Swedish naturalist Carolus Linnaeus suggested in 1758 that a great white shark’s tummy may have been Jonah’s residence for three days. Why not? Some of these monsters attain a length of 25 feet or more, and in the 18th century, a full suit of armor was recovered from the stomach of a great white. Other bizarre items like a stuffed penguin, a car license plate, a handbag containing three silver dollars and a powder puff, 24 bottles of Vichy water, numerous pairs of boots and shoes, and a tomcat have been recovered from sharks caught off the coast of Southern California by researchers at Stanford University.

An extinct close relative of the great white could have held several Jonahs. It had huge teeth, some 4 inches long and more than 5 inches wide at the base. It has been determined that this extinct beast was at least 60 feet long and weighed more than 50 tons.

If you would like to come nose to nose with a variety of shark species and have no fear of being attacked, the next time you are in Baltimore, go to the National Aquarium to view an outstanding exhibit of living sharks in a natural setting.

Their father saves the day

A man spearfishing with his sons in northern Australia fought off several sharks, losing part of his arm.

Glenn Simpson, a building contractor in Melbourne, told the Melbourne Herald Sun that the white-tipped sharks just seemed to come from nowhere. They ripped into a fish his 15-year-old son Luke had just speared and then turned on the humans.

He said he had noticed a few sharks earlier at St. Crispins Reef near the town of Port Douglas but was not especially concerned about them.

One shark bit into Simpson's arm at the elbow. He also suffered 30 puncture wounds in his right arm.

Neither Luke Simpson nor his younger brother, Dylan, who was about 300 feet away at the time of the attack, was injured.

Close encounter with a great white shark

In the interest of expanding his education – he’s led a very sheltered life in North Wales up to now – we asked travelling writer Riath Al-Samarrai to look at some wildlife for us. This isn’t exactly what we envisaged….Riath Al-Samarrai:“Is this safe Andre?”“Yes”“Are you sure?”“Yes”“And no one has ever been hurt?”“Yes”“Yes they have or yes, no one has been hurt?”“Yes”“OK Andre, shall I just get in the cage?”“That’s up to you.”So I slipped a mask over my eyes, chomped down on a snorkel and entered the lair of the Great White shark. The water was cold, just cold enough to take my attention away from the fish guts floating around me, and it was very murky. As I stared through the bars of the dented steel cage all I could see were hundreds of fish feasting on the chum in the water. I knew there were sharks out there. After all this was the White Shark Adventures tour and sharks are, as you would assume, integral to their business. But I waited. And waited some more. Occasionally I’d pop my head above the water and take a look around, but through the waves and the bars of my cell – the only cell I’d happily inhabit given the circumstances – all I could see was the seal-shaped lure used to entice the star attraction. There wasn’t a fin in sight, but it gave me time to wonder why there were dents in the cage. Suddenly a burst of excitement spread through the boat. “It’s so big” I could hear them saying as they pointed to a spot just a few metres in front of me, yet still I saw nothing. “This must be a hoax” I thought, there wasn’t even a fin and in the Jaws films you always saw a fin.Andre instructed me to get my head down. Underwater something, and it wasn’t hard to guess what, had come along and frightened away the fish. But where was Jaws? It was mysterious. Here I was, floating in the waters of South Africa, hysteria breaking out around me and a shark apparently within feet of a journalist steak, but I hadn’t a clue where it was. Then, as I was plotting the next line of this article, comparing the disappearance of the fish to the rippling water in Jurassic Park every time the T-Rex turned up, came a loud bang, a shudder and a sight more startling than any big lizard tearing up a theme park. Just before my eyes snapped shut I got a real life glimpse of what has horrified children and adults alike ever since Steven Spielberg’s fictional shark brought terror to Amity Island. About half a foot away from my face there it was, Carcharodon Carcharias; a Great White shark to those without a degree in marine biology. Later I was told it, or she as one of the experts onboard identified, was three metres long. At the time I didn’t have my measuring tape to hand, just a camera which I had bought with every intention of using. No use, my movements at this point were purely instinctive and nothing gets you covering your face like the sight of 300 teeth, spread over three rows and each sculpted to slice through meat. They looked like Stanley knife blades, most were about one and a half inches long, and later I was told they come down with a force of 20,000 pounds of pressure per square inch and only a crocodile’s bite is more powerful. Her gums were red, her nose was heavily scarred and her eyes were rolled into the back of her skull leaving a lifeless socket. She had come from nowhere and had I been swimming without the cage the first I would have known about her presence would have been the feeling of 300 teeth in my backside. The missing fin wasn’t because a soup restaurant took liberties with a growingly endangered species – in fact sharks have been protected in South Africa since 1991 – but because the concept of a circling fin is a myth. Likewise most things we are taught by Jaws. Shortly before my conversation with Andre concerning the security of the cage’ I mentioned the scene in the first Jaws movie, the one where the fearsome fish tears Richard Dreyfuss’s steel cage to pieces in pursuit of a human-flesh lunch. “You watch too much television,” Dirk, one of White Shark Adventures’ experts, told me. It wasn’t anything I didn’t already know, but his message and that of all the companies operating a similar trade in these waters, is a pertinent one. “Sharks can be very dangerous. They are the most skilled predators on the planet, but they are very misunderstood. Most people know them from the film, but almost all of that film is inaccurate.”Almost all of it is. The bits they got right are, yes, sharks live in the water and yes, they are capable of killing humans. What was not accurate was the part, kind of crucial to the film, where sharks go around eating people for fun. “Sharks are graceful creatures,” Andre, the boat’s skipper, explained in his talk as we arrived at the site not far from Gansbaai. “They can kill people and sometimes do, but as a rule sharks do not eat humans. They do not like the taste; too bony. They eat fish 95 percent of the time and the rest are seals and dead whales. “A shark does not have hands and feet so its way of feeling something is with its mouth. This means it will often inspect something it thinks could be food by biting. That does not make it an evil creature that just shows how it survives.”So why did that big menacing fish come charging at my cage? “The shark was not attacking the cage. The sharks are actually afraid of the cage, but it hit the cage because it was not looking where it was going. You see, when a shark goes after its prey it normally swims quite far beneath the water’s surface and then approaches from below and behind. But when it gets close to the prey it rolls its eyes back as a defence mechanism. When the shark hit the cage that’s because it was going after the seal lure, which we drag close to the cage so you can see the sharks, and then when it is about to bite it charges blindly.”Problem solved, the shark wasn’t trying to scupper my story, she just closed her eyes and missed the seal. No problem, unless you happen to be the taster sample that particular day. But what is really refreshing about the White Shark Adventure experience is the distinct lack of effort the guides make in creating excuses for the shark. They are not here to show the shark to be cuddly when in fact it is macho and sitting comfortably on top of the ocean food chain. What they do is educate visitors about this creature, and how it has survived on earth for 45 million years and is now threatened in its existence because humans invade their territory and take liberties. The act of humans entering the ocean, where sharks are the ultimate predator (though killer whales have been known to eat sharks) is tantamount, they explain, to walking into someone else’s living room and sticking a harpoon through their chest. They even dispute one of the most widespread excuses made for the shark, when people talk of mistaken identity in that a shark will only attack a human thinking it is a seal or other tasty snack. White Shark Adventures dismiss that notion. They believe, and it is supported by the National Geographic’s research, that sharks attack surface creatures out of curiosity. They don’t know what exactly is swimming around above them so they take a bite and find out. They are not stupid, nor is their sight so poor they must sniff for blood to find their way around (though they can detect a drop of blood the size of a match-stick head in an Olympic sized swimming pool), rather they have excellent eyesight and follow their basic instincts to find food. “They are just surviving,” Andre says, “And so far, if you look at how long they have been on Earth, they are pretty good at it. It’s a shame people cannot respect that.“We do these tours so people can see the sharks and see just how impressive they are in their kingdom. People getting attacked by sharks is just a tragic accident (there are less than ten fatal accidents a year, making it statistically more likely that you will die travelling to the beach than even see a shark), and the fear is largely irrational. Yes, they are dangerous, but so are cars. We just want people to respect their place and their uniqueness and not have these wrong ideas.”But nowadays things might have changed and sharks are not just being fished out of the water out of fear. Of the 200 million sharks slaughtered last year, a vast bulk would have gone towards creating shark fin soup – a process involving the fishing of sharks, who then have their fins cut off, before being thrown back to die – while others are used, as Andre says, “as trophies”. Indeed a set of Great White shark jaws can now fetch up to $15,000 in the United States of America. It hits home how wrong that is when you see them in their natural environment. They swim gracefully and do what they have to do to survive. Half the problem is people’s fear of the unknown, and as Great Whites are too wild to keep in captivity, public opinion is formed solely by films and a sensationalist media every time an attack occurs. While we were on the boat watching the shark inspect the bait, sometimes opting to make a snap at it, other times just happy to dive away out of sight, you appreciate they are just doing what they have always done. But while people find it easy to detest elephant poachers – after all the film Dumbo did show just how lovely flying elephants can be – it is not so easy to find empathy for a creature which can eat you. “But then people cannot appreciate this is a living creature, they see it as a hunter out to get them” Andre adds. The work of the White Shark Adventures Company and others spreading the same message is valuable in changing opinions, but they fear, as Andre earlier told me, it might not be enough. “If people don’t change their minds about sharks, soon there will be no sharks. Humans have no right to go into the shark’s territory and kill a creature they do not understand.”

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Inquest proves great white shark atttack

A coronal inquest into the death of a 26-year-old man in mid-west Western Australia has found the man died by accident as a result of a great white shark attack.

The inquest heard that Geoffrey Brazier was working as a skipper on the maiden voyage of a luxury charter vessel when he was taken by a shark at the Abrolhos Islands in March this year.
A witness to the attack, Rodney Plug, told the inquest the shark was at least six metres long.
Coroner Stephen Sharratt that there was no spear fishing, bait or berley in nearby waters that could have attracted the shark.

Tagging may help find out if great white sharks are able stalkers

GREAT White sharks may soon be tracked along the metropolitan coastline using sonar or satellite technology.Fisheries Director Will Zacharin yesterday revealed a feasibility study was being conducted into the initiative, which would also ultimately involve Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.

The technology could enable experts to tell if a single rogue shark has been responsible for recent attacks off Adelaide's coast.

Shark expert Andrew Fox said: "Tagging them so they can be positively identified is about the only way of telling if the same shark has come back to the same area."

Satellite tagging had already proven successful in a scientific study conducted by the CSIRO last year in which four Great White sharks were tracked after they were tagged at the Neptune Islands, 80km south of Port Lincoln.

Sonar tagging had also been a success at the Neptunes with underwater sonar buoys recording the movements of tagged sharks over two years.

"We are looking at expanding a tagging program across southern Australia," Mr Zacharin said.
"The project is being developed. It will be a combination of satellite and acoustic tags."

New technology had made the tags more reliable and longer lasting with some now lasting more than two years.

Future testing would involve placing sonar tracking stations at various locations - including along the metropolitan coastline - to monitor a tagged shark's location.

"It is already done at the Neptunes on a small scale, but we are looking at expanding that program considerably. We are rapidly assessing the technology, the feasibility and the cost," Mr Zacharin said.

He revealed that since January 1 there had been 44 shark reports to the Fishwatch hotline.
Many had been confirmed, but others had been unfounded or were dolphins or seals.

He said the increased public awareness of sharks and the willingness to report sightings was partly attributable to the volume of calls to the hotline. The latest was an incident involving a Great White off Middle Beach, north-west of Adelaide, last week in which a shark mouthed a boat's outboard motor after eating a berley bag used to attract fish.

Shark expert Rolf Czabayski said yesterday such interaction was inevitable because of the methods used by fishermen to attract fish.

It would be "impossible to tell" if the shark sighted off Middle Beach last week had frequented the metropolitan coastline previously, he said. Many sharks he had encountered had similar wounds and markings near the mouth.

Close encounter with a great white shark

ROBERT Hogg, his son James and a friend have had a terrifying brush with a four-metre great white shark.The trio were enjoying a "relaxing day in the boat" last week at Middle Beach, about 40km north of Adelaide, when a shark launched out of the water about 3.30pm and tore into a bait bag attached to their 5.4m fibreglass boat.

On the first day of summer weekday shark patrols, the alarm was sounded to get swimmers out of the water at Aldinga's Silver Sands Beach after a huge shark was seen just 100m off shore yesterday.

Mr Hogg described his run-in with the great white as "a bit of a shock".

"We felt a bit of a jerk and then the boat sort of started pulling sideways," Mr Hogg said.
"It was bloody huge.

"I unknotted the burley bag and tried to hold on to it.

"Then the shark showed himself at the back of the boat and had a bit of a taste test."

Mr Hogg said the shark swam around behind the boat for about 10 minutes before swimming off.
"I was a bit worried when the boat was being dragged," he said.

"It did no real harm – just took a bite out of the hydrofoil at the bottom of the motor."

Two sharks were seen yesterday during the first University of South Australia and SES shark patrol flight, in which graduate pilots will notch up flying hours while protecting beachgoers.

UniSA civil aviation head Steve Thatcher said he hoped the new patrols would help avoid great white attacks.