01/14/2008 LifeSavers Boat Attacked No Injury (New Zealand)

Worldwide Reported Shark Attack Related Incidents in 2008.

01/14/2008 LifeSavers Boat Attacked No Injury (New Zealand)

Postby sharkbait » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:37 am

Lifeguards attacked by shark

7:02PM Monday January 14, 2008
By Beck Vass


A bronze whaler similar to that which attacked lifeguards off Omaha beach today.

Did you see this shark? Tell us what you saw and send us your pictures.
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Lifeguards at Omaha beach north of Auckland were attacked by a bronze whaler shark this afternoon, which latched on to their inflatable boat, causing it to deflate.

The surf lifeguards had gone out to investigate following sightings of the shark.

Climatech Regional Lifeguards spotted the shark about 100m offshore and closed the patrolled area about 2pm.

Dean Storey, lifesaving manager for the northern region said a 3-4m bronze-whaler shark attacked the inflatable boat as lifeguards approached it, biting the rear starboard pontoon and deflating the boat.

Lifeguards made it to the shore, using the deflated boat and have closed Omaha beach to swimming, erecting signs and advising those in the area of the problem.

Omaha Surf Club president Daniel Baturic said Omaha Beach would remain closed until at least tomorrow.

He said sharks were reported swimming off the beach and a boat was sent out to confirm the sighting.

The boat's crew had been guiding a shark away from the beach for about 30 metres when it turned around and attacked the boat.

Baturic said the shark's behaviour could have been caused by bait being laid by a commercial fisherman for crab pots.

About 45 pots had been put out near the beach and about one kilo of bait was thrown into the water, he said.

Mr Storey said lifeguards responded exactly to procedure, identified the shark risk, closed the patrolled area and were continuing safety interventions to warn public of any danger.

"This is an isolated incident and I want to reiterate that the risk of being attacked by sharks is minimal," he said. "As showcased in this incident, swimming at a lifeguard-patrolled beach will also decrease the already low chance of shark attack due to lifeguard surveillance of the patrolled area.

"The risk of drowning is far more prevalent than a shark attack. The public are always advised to swim at lifeguard-patrolled beaches and swim between the flags."

- with NZPA

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/sto ... d=10486777
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Re: 01/14/2008 LifeSavers Boat Attacked No Injury (New Zealand)

Postby sharkbait » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:41 am

Shark attacks lifeguards

Stuff.co.nz | Monday, 14 January 2008

Lifeguards on an inflatable rescue boat were attacked by a shark they had been deployed to investigate after it was spotted 100m offshore at Omaha Beach north of Auckland this afternoon.


The shark, a 3-4 metre bronze whaler, bit one of the boat's pontoons, deflating it, Northern Region Surf Lifesaving Manager Dean Story said.

The lifesavers were able to return to the beach on the damaged boat and closed the beach for swimming at around 2pm.

Omaha Surf Club president Daniel Baturic said Omaha Beach would remain closed until at least tomorrow.

He said sharks were reported swimming off the beach and a boat was sent out to confirm the sighting.

The boat's crew had been guiding a shark away from the beach for about 30 metres when it turned around and attacked the boat.

No-one was hurt.

Mr Baturic said the shark's behaviour could have been caused by bait being laid by a commercial fisherman for crab pots.

About 45 pots had been put out near the beach and about one kilo of bait was thrown into the water, he said.

Residents had been trying to do something about the fisherman's activities but it was legal and within quota, he said.

The situation was frustrating because the sharks were "pretty vicious".

A decision on whether to reopen the beach would be made tomorrow, he said.

Mr Storey said lifeguards responded exactly to procedure.

"This is an isolated incident and I want to reiterate that the risk of being attacked by sharks is minimal. As showcased in this incident, swimming at a lifeguard-patrolled beach will also decrease the already low chance of shark attack due to lifeguard surveillance of the patrolled area," he said.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4356103a10.html
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Re: 01/14/2008 LifeSavers Boat Attacked No Injury (New Zealand)

Postby sharkbait » Mon Jan 14, 2008 1:42 pm

Shark attack 'just like Jaws'
By PAUL EASTON - The Dominion Post | Tuesday, 15 January 2008

omaha_beach_lifeguards_shark_attack.jpg
Omaha Beach lifeguards Lauren Johnson and Kris O'Neill show where a huge shark attacked their inflatable boat. Lauren said the shark 'had kill on its mind
omaha_beach_lifeguards_shark_attack.jpg (35.43 KiB) Viewed 3831 times


'JUST LIKE JAWS': Omaha Beach lifeguards Lauren Johnson and Kris O'Neill show where a huge shark attacked their inflatable boat. Lauren said the shark 'had kill on its mind'.

lifeguards were forced to dash to the safety of shore after their inflatable boat was attacked and punctured by a huge shark.


Lauren Johnson, 19, who was on board, said the encounter at Omaha Beach, north of Auckland, was "just like Jaws".

"It had 'kill' on its mind," she said of the shark, which is thought to have been a bronze whaler.

Ms Johnson and fellow lifeguard Kris O'Neill, 24, had been sent to investigate sightings of a shark off the beach at 2pm yesterday.

They found it 100 metres offshore and started to scare it away by revving the engine of their inflatable rescue boat.

But the shark turned on them, attacking the engine and biting a chunk out of the starboard pontoon where Ms Johnson was sitting.

"It didn't seem to like us much," Mr O'Neill said.

His hand was on the controls just a foot away from the shark's mouth as it tried to make a meal of the outboard engine.

"Those teeth looked pretty big all right."

The boat's pontoon went down after being holed, and the shark began "headbutting" the bottom of the boat, where Ms Johnson was now lying.

She was terrified that she was going to end up in the water with the beast, which she said was as long as the four-metre boat.

"I was really scared. I just screamed at Kris to get back to shore."

Mr O'Neill said the shark did not follow them in as they made a beeline for the sand.

"I think it knew it had won."

Omaha Beach remained closed last night after sightings of at least six sharks, which may have been attracted by bait laid by a commercial fisherman for his crab pots.

The lifeguards, from the Omaha Lifeguard Service, said the attack would not put them off their duties.

"I'll be back in the water tomorrow," Ms Johnson said.

Mr O'Neill said the aggressive behaviour of the shark had been a shock. "I've had them nudge boats before, but never anything like that."

This summer has seen a spate of shark sightings, with great whites seen off Taranaki and last weekend near Kapiti Island.

A shark expert at the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, Malcolm Francis, said bronze whalers were rarely aggressive, but could attack if they felt threatened.

"It was probably just swimming along quietly looking for some kahawai to eat, then along comes this great big orange thing and starts annoying it," Mr Francis said.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/4356206a10.html
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