Port Macquarie man threw punches in the air after shark attack
THE shark responsible for attacking a swimmer off the NSW mid-north coast was almost certainly a wobbegong, not a bull shark as doctors initially suggested.
Department of Primary Industries experts assessed wounds to attack victim Mike Porter’s left foot left foot this afternoon, following his encounter with a shark off Lighthouse Beach in Port Macquarie about 6pm yesterday.
“A detailed forensic analysis of the victim’s wounds and flipper damage, including an analysis of the interdental distances and nature of the tooth marks, has identified the shark involved, as a wobbegong,” a DPI statement said.
“Wobbegong sharks inhabit shallow, inshore waters and can become aggressive if disturbed.”
But, as the picture shows, even a wobbegong can do some damage if you make it angry.
Mr Porter had no advance warning when he was attacked.
“I had no idea what was happening — it just clamped on and that was the first I knew about it,” Mr Porter told The Daily Telegraph today.
“It sort of bit through the flipper and went through to my foot.”
“It’s all kind of a blur but it just latched on and I just punched it until it let go. It was probably only a couple of punches but once it was off I had no idea where it had gone so I was kept swinging air punches everywhere to stop it coming back.”
“I didn’t get a glimpse of it. I was just thinking about getting into shore quick.”
“As soon as I looked I could see it was cut but I didn’t know how deep it was.”
Mr Porter yelled to a nearby surfer who helped him get to shore, where off-duty surf club members bandaged the bloody bite wounds on his foot.
He then managed to drive himself to hospital, where he received eight stitches.
A veteran surfer who has been riding breaks off Lighthouse Beach for more than 25 years, Mr Porter was back at work today and nonchalant about his ordeal.
“It was surprisingly unterrifying,” he said.
“It was scary for the 10 seconds it was happening but after that it wasn’t too bad. Once I got to shore I was all good.”
“I was just very lucky it decided to bite my flipper first.”
With that kind of laid-back attitude, it’s no surprise he’s already looking forward to getting back out into the water.
“I’m not too worried — there are sharks through most of the ocean,” he said.
“As soon as the stitches are out I’ll be back out there.”
Doctors who attended to Mr Porter told him the wounds suggested he had been attacked by a bull shark, but NSW Fisheries experts will visit him today to get a better idea of the species responsible.
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