Girl fights off shark with board
Published 02/02/2010 | 08:19
A teenage girl bitten by a shark bashed it over the head with her body board until it let her go, she has said.
Lydia Ward, 14, was waist-deep in water at Oreti Beach on New Zealand's South Island when what is believed to have been a broad-nosed seven gill shark bit into her hip.
Lydia, who was with her brother when the attack happened on Monday, said she did not notice the shark until the attack was under way.
"I saw my brother's face and turned to the side and saw this large grey thing in the water. So I just hit it on the head with a boogie board," she told National Radio.
The pair fled from the water after the attack.
The shark bite ripped Lydia's wetsuit and penetrated her skin but she did not need any stitches.
Conservation Department marine scientist Clinton Duffy said the shark is likely to have been the broad-nosed seven gill shark, which can grow to three metres and has attacked swimmers at Oreti Beach in the past.
The last time this type of shark attacked a human at the beach was in 1999, and the young girl victim required 60 stitches, Duffy said.
Lydia, a former competitive swimmer and regular beach swimmer, said she will be sticking to rivers and lakes in the future.