01/16/2015 - Sam Smith - Australia

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01/16/2015 - Sam Smith - Australia

Postby alb » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:30 pm

Teenager attacked by shark near Mollymook Beach on the NSW New South Wales south coast - Australia

Teenager attacked by shark near Mollymook Beach on the NSW New South Wales south coast - Australia

Victim of shark attack at Mollymook Beach flown to Sydney

Teen bitten by shark near Mollymook

A teenager has been flown to Sydney after he was bitten by a shark while spearfishing near Mollymook Beach on the NSW south coast.

Sam Smith, 17, of Mollymook, was bitten on the hand and wrist, just a short distance off Bannister Head, after attempting to stab a shark in a bid to "scare it off".

The incident occurred about two kilometres from where thousands of surf lifesavers were competing in the 2015 NSW Stramit Surf Life Saving Country Championships at South Mollymook Beach.

Sam was spearfishing with friend Luke Sisinni, of Ulladulla, who said Sam saw a shark "so he went down to film it".

"He said it spun around and started coming for him, so he stabbed it with his spear to try and scare it off, but it just went ballistic and bit him," Luke said.

He said he did not see the attack of the shark, but swam over towards Sam when he heard movement "and he came up screaming saying 'I got bitten by a shark.' "

Paramedics treated the teenager for cuts to his hand and fingers, before taking him to Milton Ulladulla Hospital in a stable condition, a spokeswoman said.

He was then flown to Sydney for specialist treatment.

Lifeguards have closed Narrawallee Beach following possible shark bite to skin divers hand — Surf Life Saving NSW (@slsnsw) January 16, 2015

Sam said the shark was about 1.5 metres long.

"I saw one the other week, about the same last week, a bronze whaler, but that didn't bite me, thankfully," Luke said.

South Mollymook Beach remained open following the attack, but lifeguards closed Narrawallee Beach and North Mollymook Beach.

Sharks are common in the area, and fellow spearfisher Mark Brayne said he had an encounter with one the previous week.

Mr Brayne, from Mollymook, said he and his uncle were spearfishing north of Bannister Head when he went down for a shot at a fish in about 12 metres of water, and felt something tugging on his buoy line.

"I didn't think anything of it at the time, but then I speared a fish and came back up and was in the process of loading my gun again and I felt something pull quite hard on my buoy line and I looked back in the water and I could just see this big splash, crazy splashing around.

"Then my gun and my buoy line just got ripped out of my hands and I watched them disappear," he said.

"In the kerfuffle, my snorkel got ripped off my head."

He swam over to his uncle and the pair endured "a pretty nerve-wracking swim" back to the boat about 300 metres away.

Mr Brayne said that while he did not see the shark, "it was big enough to take my gun off me, and big enough to drag 15 or 20 kilograms of fish away from me".

The Westpac Life Saver helicopter is currently circling above the scene to conduct sweeps over the beaches.

Robbie Cooke, 22, who was visiting his family on the south coast, was swimming at the northern end of Mollymook Beach with his friend Mat Gillies when word of the shark attack spread down the beach.

"We had been surfing for about an hour when it happened," Mr Cooke said. "People were screaming at us to get out of the water, but we didn't think anything of it.

"We then started to realise there might have been a shark even though we were the only people in the water. And I thought to myself, Holy Jesus."

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