Australian diver survives shark bite to his head

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The Independent Online

An Australian diver was bitten on the head by a 10-foot great white shark - but survived the attack by poking one of its eyes.

Abalone diver Eric Nerhus, 41, was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries to his head, body and left arm after the attack today off Cape Howe, near the eastern town of Eden, about 250 miles south of Sydney.

The shark grabbed Nerhus by the head, crushing his face mask inwards and breaking his nose, said Dennis Luobikis, a fellow diver who witnessed the attack.

"He was actually bitten by the head down, the shark swallowed his head," Luobikis said.

The shark, believed to be a great white, came back for a second bite, clenching its jaws around Nerhus' torso and leaving deep lacerations into his side, said Luobikis.

Nerhus managed to wrestle himself free of the shark's jaws, and later told rescue workers he had poked the shark in the eye, an unidentified worker from the Snowy Hydro Rescue Helicopter service told local media.

Nerhus was pulled from the water by his 25-year-old son and taken to hospital suffering from blood loss and shock.