03/20/2007 Jodie Cooper (Australia)

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.

03/20/2007 Jodie Cooper (Australia)

Postby sharkbait » Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:52 pm

Shark love bite won't stop Jodie
21Mar07

IF there are waves to ride, surfing champion Jodie Cooper will paddle out today -- despite having been attacked by a shark yesterday.

The former pro surfer was bitten 50m off South Golden Beach in northern NSW at 10am.

"There was a lot of blood but it really is just a bit of a love bite," she said.

Cooper, 42, said she had been 'having a ball' surfing with friend Andy Scott when she felt a shark bite deeply into her left hand.

"The water was a bit murky but we were on our own and it was like a bathtub -- we having a ball," she said.

"Earlier on we had been swimming with dolphins and then caught some waves and I was on my way back out when I took a paddle, drove my hand down into the water, and then it locked on and I knew what it was.

"I didn't see it myself but my friend did and he said it was this small bull (shark) or a bronzer.

"It just locked on and I started shaking and shaking my hand and when it did release it ripped a bit and the bite went down to the bone into my knuckles.

"I just screamed to my mate 'shark, shark' and then started paddling ... that was probably the scariest part, that paddle back to shore.

"It is not a nice feeling -- you don't know if it is going to come back for you. Because I didn't know how big it was I didn't know if it would come back."

Asked if it felt like time stood still as she scrambled to get out of the water, Cooper said it was like time slowed down.

"Luckily I caught a wave in but it is like ... time slows up. I just didn't want to feel that bite (on my side)."

Mr Scott rushed Cooper to Mullumbimby Hospital, where she was treated for deep flesh wounds across her outer three fingers.

She said she had never been attacked by a shark despite surfing waves all around the world since the early 1980s.

"I remember just feeling pretty amped-up when I got to the beach," she said.

"Andy drove us to the hospital where I got the old tetanus shot and they patched me up with some butterfly clips and gave me some antibiotics and painkillers.

"While I was waiting, this other guy turned up with a snakebite. His three mates, traditional hippies, turned up in this Kombi van to drop him off and they whisked him off before me. So I wasn't a big emergency.

"I'll just take a bit of Panadeine Forte then get back into the water.

"I'll just wrap my hand up in a plastic bag and get back out there.

"Honestly, I am just pretty lucky. It is nothing really. We are lucky it appears to have been a little baby."

Cooper said she would stick to her plan to fly to her birth state of Western Australia tomorrow so she could work as a commentator for the Margaret River Pro surfing competition.

The WA surfing hall of fame member was widely considered the Layne Beachley of the 1980s.

Her career highlights included memorable wins at the 1989 Newcastle Surfest, 1985 OP Pro and the Haleiwa World Cup.

Described by friends as one of the toughest competitors on the tour, the Albany-raised boardrider officially retired in 1994 but continued to surf competitively and was regularly offered wildcards by event organisers.

She appeared in the world's top eight 11 times, finishing as high as No.2, and is famous for her 1989 run-in with Hawaiian legend Johnny Boy Gomes who punched her in the face after she rode waves at his break. Gomes told her: "If you act like a man I'm gonna treat you like a man."

Cooper acted as Lori Petty's body double in the 1991 movie Point Break, a Hollywood blockbuster starring Patrick Swayze as a surfing villain and Keanu Reeves as an FBI agent who must learn to surf to infiltrate a gang of criminals.

"Yep, that's the one and only time I have done any movies," she said.

Since retiring from the tour, Cooper has acted as event director at several Roxy Pro events across the globe and has a senior coaching role developing junior talent at the Surfing Australia high performance centre at Casuarina.

Her students have included current gun Stephanie Gilmore and she is also a regular commentator on the women's circuit.

The snakebite victim was last night in a stable condition.

http://www.gcbulletin.com.au/article/20 ... _news.html
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Postby sharkbait » Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:58 am

Surfer shrugs off shark attack on 'chomped' hand
March 21, 2007 03:46pm

THE terrifying attack left former pro surfer Jodie Cooper with bone-deep cuts in her hand, yet she is disarmingly nonchalant about her first run-in with a shark.

"I just went 'okay, I'm being attacked by a shark'," 42-year-old Ms Cooper said the day after her brush with death while surfing off South Golden Beach, near her home in northern NSW.

The former world number two had just finished riding a wave yesterday morning and was turning back to catch another when the shark latched onto her left hand.

"It just came up from underneath me and just bit me - just like in the movies, it's pretty classic, except lucky it was small shark, a little five-foot thing," Ms Cooper said.

"I didn't even see the thing the whole time, it just gave me a good old chomp on the hand and took a couple of knuckles."

But Ms Cooper, who won numerous international events in the 1980s and retired from professional competition in 1994, said she did not want to appear "heroic".

She said while it had been just another day in the life of a surfer, she was as frightened as anyone else at the sight of a shark in the water.

"It's one of those things in all honesty that we can laugh about now and I'm just laughing about it."

Ms Cooper, a surfing commentator who handles various local competitions, said she had to face the likelihood that the attack may not be her last run-in with a shark.

But it would not deter her from surfing, she said.

"It's just like I've been bitten by a big dog, just down to the bone on two knuckles, and then about 10 teeth lacerations up my hand," Ms Cooper said.

"There doesn't appear to be any ligament damage ... and I can sort of wiggle my hand.

"I'll give it a couple of days and then I'll go surfing for sure."


http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21421580-2,00.html
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