VIA – THE AGE
Shark attack shock just a case of fish ‘n’ nips
October 20, 2011 – 7:05AM
When Andrew Houston felt something latch onto his leg while diving in Port Phillip Bay yesterday, the theme song from Jaws must have flashed through his terrified mind.
“It felt like the real thing, like a big one, you know?” the experienced diver said while recovering from his ordeal safely back on Elwood Beach.
It was, in fact, a shark that had grabbed him. But when he whirled around in the water fearing the worst, he says he was confronted with a relatively pint-sized predator.
Port Jackson sharks are a common sight in the bay, and usually pose no danger to humans.
Just why this one decided to attack Mr Houston’s leg is unclear, but attack it did, and the dogged animal wasn’t letting go.
Mr Houston was forced to swim to shore, a journey of 10 minutes, with the animal still attached to him.
When he reached Elwood beach just after 4pm, Mr Houston and a passerby took several more minutes to dislodge the animal from his calf. The shark swam back out into the bay.
Meantime, paramedics had received an emergency call saying a swimmer had been attacked by a shark in the bay and raced to the scene from Caulfield.
They arrived to find Mr Houston sitting calmly on the beach, in good spirits and with a whale of a story to tell.
All this shark attack victim had to show from his close encounter was a bruised calf and a torn wetsuit.
“Lucky enough [the shark] was something which is usually pretty harmless and you don’t usually have any problems with these things,” Mr Houston told Channel 10.
Mr Houston said yesterday’s balmy weather had enticed him out for a dive after a spell of earlier bad weather had reduced visibility in the bay.
“I know the area pretty well. I’ve dived here for quite a few years,” Mr Houston said.
“I was really looking forward to having a good dive and I actually had a good dive and I’d been out there for an hour and a half.
“On my way in this thing just latched onto my leg, onto my calf muscle. I didn’t know what to think.
“It tore up my wetsuit a bit. It’s seen better days now. Definitely a shock, that’s for sure.”
Paramedic Jim Coates said it was an unusual emergency call to receive.
“He did have a small bruise to his calf,” Mr Coates said.
For the full story and 2 different videos follow these links:
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