Page 1 of 1

02/01/2010 Lydia Ward ( New Zealand )

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:21 pm
by sharkbait
A 14-year-old New Zealand girl Lydia Ward told how she beat off a shark which grabbed her in shallow water off a southern beach by hitting it with her body board. ---

New Zealand girl, 14, beats off shark attack
Feb 1, 2010 11:37 PM | By Sapa-dpa

A 14-year-old New Zealand girl told how she beat off a shark which grabbed her in shallow water off a southern beach by hitting it with her body board.

Lydia Ward said she stood on the 1.5- metre shark while body-boarding at Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, Monday evening and it lunged at her, wrapping its jaws around her hip.

As the sand shark's teeth penetrated her wetsuit and her skin she bashed it with her polystyrene body board until it let go.

She and her brother, who was swimming but not wearing a wetsuit, ran from the water and up the beach to her father, who did not believe her at first.

"But then I showed him my wetsuit with all the blood coming out and he believed me," she told Radio New Zealand.

She was not seriously hurt but her parents took her to hospital to get the deepest wound treated.

Police patrolled the beach after the attack but the shark was not seen again.

"It was an unfortunate incident but when sea creatures are stood on, people are always at risk," Senior Sergeant Bruce Terry told the Southland Times newspaper.

Re: 02/01/2009 Lydia Ward ( New Zealand )

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:24 pm
by sharkbait
Teen hit shark with boogie board during attack.

By Jarrod Booker
12:10 PM Tuesday Feb 2, 2010.

Fighting off a shark was scary enough, but it was not until she scrambled to
shore that Lydia Ward realised just how close her encounter had been.

The 14-year-old was waiting to catch a last good wave on her boogie board at
Oreti Beach, near Invercargill, last night when she stepped on something
slippery on the sea floor.

"At first, I wasn't quite sure what it was. And I was trying to say to
myself it was just a piece of driftwood," she told the Herald.

"Then I stood on it again, and I just looked at my brother's face and he
said 'whoa'. And I looked to my side and I just saw this massive grey thing
twisting in the water."

Although she and 10-year-old brother Alex could make out the shape of it,
Lydia still wasn't sure what she was looking at.

Then it lunged and bit through her wetsuit into her hip.

Lydia thinks the adrenalin flowing through her body might have prevented her
from feeling anything.

"So I hit it with the end of my boogie board and that scared it away."

She could see blood in the water and feared it would bring the shark back,
"but I couldn't run because I was in the water, so it was quite nerve-wracking".

"I only realised it bit me when I hopped out of the water and saw the bite
marks through my wetsuit."

At that point, the area where she had been bitten "sort of just went numb".

Her mother, Fiona Ward, was at the beach waiting for her children when Lydia
approached looking a little shaken.

"She's a really cool-headed little girl. There was no screaming or anything,
or hysterics.

"She just came up to the car, she looked a bit shaky, and she said 'oh, I've
just been attacked by a shark. And I was like 'what?' We didn't really
almost believe her. And then she showed us the teeth marks on her wetsuit,
and it was ripped in several places.

"And then she peeled it down and she had a couple of puncture marks in her leg."

Mrs Ward was thankful it was not worse, and that her son, who was not
wearing a wetsuit, had not been attacked.

Lydia and her brother think the shark was about 1.5m long.

She will be visiting the doctor today to see if she needs any treatment.

She usually goes boarding in the sea only on "a hot day when there's nothing
much to do".

"It's sort of put me off the beach, but it's still fine with rivers and
lakes. So I'll just stick to them now."

- With NZHERALD STAFF ... d=10623625