Shark snaps 10-year-old
31/12/2008 10:25:00 AM
YOU’RE a 10-year-old kid and it’s summer.
A wave arches from the frothing sea, and spurts you forward on a boogie board. But the surge stalls as you’re helplessly churned under a wall of water. You get to your flippered feet and clear your nose. Except there’s something wrong with one of your flippers – on the right foot. It’s half gone.
Bayden Schumann felt nothing in the wave, but shivered as he looked through the water at his foot.
“I was just catching one of my last waves. I didn’t feel anything; I went through the wave and half my flipper was gone,” he said.
Watching on at Seal Rocks on Sunday, Ron Schumann looked up as his son trudged across the beach.
“He gave me his flipper, and went straight back out. I noticed two teeth marks on the top, then turned it and saw two more with scratches leading to them,” he said.
“I’ve tried to tear the material, but you can’t. It’s too strong.”
No-one thought much of it, until two hours later.
“We went to the next beach along. I looked down – I was pretty high up – and saw a seven-foot bronzey (bronze whaler shark),” Ron, from Forster, said.
“It was chasing whiting, and I guess it was chasing them so tight it beached itself. People got out of the water, and it went back out.”
Bayden is no stranger to the ocean. Apart from latching onto a few waves on his boogie board, he’s been a keen surfer for three years. But it could have gone oh so wrong in the shallows of Seal Rocks.
“His toes were about 2mm from the bite marks,” Ron said.
“I told him maybe next time not to wear flippers, so his feet won’t be as attractive.”
Despite a brush with an overzealous toenail clipper, the concept of fearing the water just hasn’t crossed Bayden’s mind.
“Nah, I just went back out into the water,” he said.
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