Thursday, February 11, 2010

Sydney surfer survives 'white pointer' attack

Michael Brown, operator of a helicopter-borne shark spotting service and a self-proclaimed shark identification expert, today observed a shark attack on fellow swimmer Paul Welsh only meters away:

Mr Brown, who has been pushing for greater protections against sharks, said the animal that bit Mr Welsh appeared to be a two-metre great white, by the look of its tail.

"[He] just had a big bite mark in his leg and blood just streaming out of it," he told the ABC.

"I'm quite shaken and I spend my life researching, following and working with sharks, but to be that close to an actual attack and to be faced with the fact that it could've been my child, it's definitely had a life-changing impact. There's no two ways about that."

The victim was released from hospital around midday after doctors found a tooth fragment in his leg.

With bitee Welsh selling his story before even reaching hospital there was obviously money to be made here. The only thing is the "white pointer' was actually a lowly wobbegong; Brown's sensational misidentification pretty much destroying has credibility as a shark expert – wobbegongs can indeed inflict a nasty bite but look nothing like a white pointer and are unlikely to remove appendages much less kill anyone. Thus a hey-look-at-me moment has backfired.




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