08/30/2008 Stephen Perkins ( British Coast )

Worldwide Reported Shark Attack Related Incidents in 2008.

08/30/2008 Stephen Perkins ( British Coast )

Postby sharkbait » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:38 pm

Stephen Perkins a fisherman the first to be bitten by a Blue Shark off the British Coast. Lundy Island, Devon


Fisherman bitten by blue shark has re-constructive surgery


Last Updated: 3:01pm BST 01/09/2008

A fisherman has undergone re-constructive surgery after becoming the first person to be bitten by a blue shark off the British coast.


Stephen Perkins, 52, had just hauled the fish into his boat for a commemorative photograph when it sunk its teeth into his forearm.


It caused deep puncture wounds and Stephen was losing so much blood that an RAF Sea King helicopter was scrambled to collect him off the Devon coastline.

He was flown to hospital and underwent extensive surgery on his arm.

Stephen said: "We don't harm the sharks when we hook them. We just take a picture and put them back in the water but the one I got was pretty lively and having put his jaw around my wrist then let go.

"The scariest bit, to be honest, was going up in a helicopter. It won't put me off fishing again but I will remember to pick the shark up by the blunt end in future."
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Stephen was fishing with a friend two miles off the west coast of Lundy Island in his boat 'Serenity' when the incident occured.

After hooking the shark he dragged it aboard, to pose for a picture before unhooking it and throwing it back.

But the shark bit Stephen's wrist before the pair managed to bundle it back overboard.

He was taken to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple by a rescue helicopter from nearby RAF Chivenor, which was diverted from a training exercise.

On Sunday he was transferred to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital where he received re-constructive surgery for his injuries.

Stephen, of Glamorgan, south Wales, was due to be released yesterday.

A spokeswoman for Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital said: "A 52-year-old man was treated for crush and ripping injuries caused by a shark on Saturday.

"There was no muscle or bone damage. He has been told by doctors he will need future treatment in the form of physiotherapy."

Over the past few years Blue sharks, known as '"wolves of the sea", have been reported swimming off the Devon and Cornwall coast.

In 1998, global warming experts claimed that there would be a sharp increase in the amount of Blue sharks in British water due to warmer sea temperatures.

Shark expert Douglas Herdson, 61, information officer at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, Devon, said the attack was the first of its kind.

He said: "Two people have been bitten by sharks in this country - but they were by smaller, less deadly sharks.

"This is the first attack by a blue shark in this country, but it is very unlikely to be unprovoked."

Four people have been killed by Blue sharks, which grow up to 13ft long, worldwide and Herdson said they were one of the most efficient ocean hunters.

He said: "They can be pretty big and they have very efficient teeth for killing and eating their prey. It would be very foolish to grab the wrong end of this shark."

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Re: 08/30/2008 Stephen Perkins ( British Coast )

Postby sharkbait » Mon Sep 01, 2008 2:40 pm

Man 'bitten by shark' as he poses for photograph on boat

Last Updated: 3:01pm BST 01/09/2008

Angler Stephen Perkins, 52, got more than he bargained for when he hauled the fish on board his boat 'Serenity' off Lundy Island, Devon.

Blue shark: Stephen Perkins is the first person to be bitten by a blue shark off the British coast

As he was preparing to unhook the fish, it sank its teeth into his wrist leaving him needing re-constructive surgery. It has earned him an unlikely place in history as the first documented case of a man being bitten by a Blue Shark off British waters.

Such was the blood loss that an RAF Sea King helicopter had to be scrambled to take him to North Devon District Hospital in Barnstaple on Saturday where he was finally released today.

Although the incident could not be treated as an "unprovoked" attack, it is believed to be the first documented case of a Blue Shark - a common migratory visitor to British waters - biting someone in this way.

However, experts said it was possible there could have been similar "attacks" in the past which went unreported during the 1950s and 1960s when as many as 6,000 Blue Sharks a year were caught off the coast of Cornwall alone each year.
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While still common off the west coast of England and Wales, Blue Sharks - which can grow to 13ft long - have seen their numbers drastically reduced by overfishing in recent decades, with only about 200 reeled in last year in the same area.

Mr Perkins, from Glamorgan, south Wales, is a regular shark angler and was making the most of sunny weather conditions on Saturday.

"We don't harm the sharks when we hook them, we just take a picture and put them back in the water," he explained.

"But the one I got was pretty lively and having put his jaw around my wrist then let go.

"The scariest bit, to be honest, was going up in a helicopter.

"It won't put me off fishing again but I will remember to pick the shark up by the blunt end in future."

Douglas Herdson, 61, information officer at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, Devon, said: "This is the first attack by a Blue Shark in this country, but it is very unlikely to be unprovoked."

But Richard Pierce, chairman of the Shark Trust, said: "Between the 1950s and 1960s the Shark Angling Club of Great Britain by themselves caught nearly 20,000 Blue Sharks - believe me that would not have been bite-free.

"I was bitten by a porbeagle shark, which is a first cousin of the Great White, just last year.

"I was taking a hook out of its mouth, what was it going to do kiss me?"

He said there had only been four documented cases of shark "attacks" off British waters in the past, the most serious being when a basking shark unintentionally overturned a 15ft boat in the Firth of Clyde in 1937, causing three people to drown.

An 18-year-old German was once bitten on the arm by a small shark he was trying to release from a net in Scotland and needed hospital treatment after the wound turned septic.

"There has never been a proper, real shark attack in British waters and this is not a shark attack," Mr Pierce said.

There have, however, been several people injured by sharks on land including a landlady in Kent who was hit by a set of shark jaws which fell off the wall of her pub and a man whose arm was trapped inside the jaws of a dead shark he was transporting on ice after he stopped his van suddenly sending the carcass flying through the air, snapping its jaws shut on his arm.


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