Michael Geraghty (54) suffered an apparent shark bite to his foot while surfing off Dubai’s Umm Suqeim beach.
Shark bites Dubai surfer
Wednesday 27 Jan, 2010
A surfer has been bitten by a shark just off Dubai’s Umm Suqeim beach.
Australian Michael Geraghty needed stitches and hospital treatment for a wound to his foot that he suffered as a result of the attack.
However, experts have told the public not to be alarmed as, although sightings of sharks are common in the Gulf, such attacks are extremely rare.
Geraghty told 7DAYS that he was riding the waves on Saturday when he was pulled from his surfboard.
When he looked down, he was shocked to see blood colouring the water.
“I felt something yank me from the board,” he said. “When I looked around I could see there was a lot of blood but I didn’t feel anything at first. I assumed I’d caught my leg on some floating debris or junk.”
The shocked 54-year-old was taken to Rashid Hospital’s emergency department where doctors told him there were teeth marks around the big gash across the ball of his foot.
“The doctor said it was definitely a bite and you can see the marks,” he said.
“As far as I know it’s extremely unusual - 99.9 per cent of surfers have never been bitten by a shark.”
The founder of research project Shark Quest Arabia, Jonathon Ali Khan, said shark attacks in the Arabian Gulf were “exceptionally rare”. And he said that even though dangerous species such as tiger, hammerhead and bull sharks have been spotted in UAE waters, he suspected that whatever attacked Geraghty was a lot less dangerous.
“Because the injury was not serious, it’s unlikely to have been one of the more dangerous types even though they are
typically more aggressive,” he said.
“It’s possible it was a baby or one of the local species, like a black tip, just being curious and having a taste.”
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