01/17/2020 - Jordan King 12 yr old - New Zealand

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alb
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01/17/2020 - Jordan King 12 yr old - New Zealand

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Girl continues to surf after possible shark bite at Oreti Beach

A 13-year-old girl believed to be bitten by a shark at Oreti Beach continued to surf for a hour before realising there was blood coming from her leg.

Glen Burdon, his daughter Ella and friend Jordan King were surfing at the beach around 8.30pm on Thursday night when King felt something nibbling on the leg rope of her surfboard.

King said she it incident made her squeal and she jumped back onto her surfboard in fright.

Ella said her friend went blue in the face and they saw a tail fin about half a metre long, from what they believed was a shark, emerge from the water before it swam away.

The trio paddled back to the shallow water to assess the situation and after not noticing any blood King continued to surf for another hour.

It was only when she got out of the water she noticed that there was blood coming out of the wetsuit and the bite, King said.

King was not in any pain until an hour after she got out of the water, she said.

"It didn't really feel like anything, only on my legrope."

If she was not protected by the leash, the injury could have been a lot worse, Glen said.

Glen's wife Belinda was an Emergency Department nurse and was able to treat the shark bite without having to take King to a medical centre, he said.

Belinda had been practising her stitches at home with pork chops and there was a running joke that she now had a real person to practice on, Glen said.

After seeing the tail fin of the shark and assessing the teeth marks, Glen believed it was broadnose sevengill shark but said he could only assume.

Department of Conservation shark expert Clinton Duffy said it was common for sharks to found close to shore in Southland, as elsewhere, at this time of year.

The most common large sharks found around the Otago and Southland coast, particularly in shallow water, were broadnose sevengill sharks, Duffy said.

Common thresher sharks and basking sharks were also sometimes spotted in this area but neither were likely to bite a person, he said.

Broadnose sevengills were sometimes called 'thrasher' or 'thresher sharks' in the South Island but they were only distantly related to the common thresher shark, he said.

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