11/07/2007 Andrew Smith (South Africa)

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11/07/2007 Andrew Smith (South Africa)

Post by sharkbait »

Did surfer fight off a shark?

November 08 2007 at 12:24PM

By Murry Williams

A teenage surfer is recovering in hospital after he kicked his feet free from the jaws of what appeared to be a shark.

Andrew Smith, 14, who had been surfing with friends at sunset on Wednesday at "The Pipe", the western end of Strand beach, was rushed to Vergelegen Medi-Clinic in Somerset West, where he was treated for lacerations and a severed tendon.

Neither Smith, a Grade 8 pupil at Paul Roos Gymnasium, nor fellow surfers could identify the attacker other than being "big and grey".

If, as seems certain, it was a shark, the incident would be the first recorded shark attack at the Strand in more than 50 years.

Andrew's father, Jimmy, said: "The shark took him from behind … he saw the shark, at one stage it seemed like it was on top of him. He said to me, 'The shark was bigger than I am, and I'm six foot tall.'

"He said he just started kicking and fighting. His leash snapped and it tried to drag him under. But he managed to get his feet out of its mouth. He was very lucky."

Another surfer in the water, Rigard Smit, reported: "We were surfing, there were five or six guys out. I saw something taking him down, lots of splashes."

After Smith freed himself, the shark had attacked his surfboard.

Smith swam to another surfer. "He got on this guy's back and he took him out. He was freaked out … His board was new and he asked, 'How does my board look?' "

Vergelegen Medi-Clinic reconstructive plastic surgeon Dr Jonathan Toogood said: "We operated on him on Wednesday night. He had hundreds of little lacerations toothmarks on his feet and lower legs."

Andrew described the encounter as "very, very scary".

http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1 ... 440C712145

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