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Diver 'swallowed' by shark survives


1/23/07
An Australian abalone diver has said he was partly swallowed head-first by a shark but managed to fight his way free by poking the predator's eye.
 
The diver suffered a broken nose and lacerations around the chest in the attack that took place on Tuesday off Cape Howe, near the eastern town of Eden, about 400 km south of Sydney.
 
Eric Nerhus, 41, was underwater with his 25-year-old son and other divers when the 3-metre shark, believed to be a great white, attacked.
 
Nerhus told fellow divers he did not see the shark coming as the water was dirty and visibility poor.
 
The shark bit Nerhus around the head first.
 
 
 
 
The bite crushed his face mask and broke his nose, Dennis Luobikis, a fellow diver and friend, said.
 
"He was actually bitten by the head ... the shark swallowed his head," he said, adding that the shark took a second bite out of Nerhus, clenching a jaw around his torso.
 
Luobikis said the brunt of the second bite was taken by Nerhus's weight vest made of lead.
 
Nerhus fought frantically to free himself from the shark's jaws and was eventually pulled back on board his boat by his son.
 
"He pushed his abalone chisel into its head while it was biting and it let him go and swam away," Luobikis said.
 
Sharks, including great whites, are protected in Australia.
 
Scientists say an average of 15 shark attacks occur in Australia each year - one of the highest rates in the world - and about one each year is fatal.


Source Website: english.aljazeera.net