Surfer fights off 16ft shark

Josh Berris, 26, suffered cuts to his legs when he was attacked while surfing with friends off a remote beach on Kangaroo Island, South Australia yesterday. He managed to push the 16ft (5 metre) shark away before his four friends dragged him to onto rocks and gave him first aid. Two of the friends then climbed the steep cliffs that surround the beach to find help.

Paramedics said that Mr Berris, an Australian, was airlifted to hospital in Adelaide, where he underwent surgery on his legs. One of the paramedics told ABC News: "[Mr Berris] was just sitting on the board waiting for the next wave and the shark just hit him from underneath. It took his board and was dragging him and he had to pull his leg rope off to get away from it. It came back again so he put his hand in its mouth to push it away."

Lee Francis, a spokesman for the South Australia ambulance service, said: "He is very lucky to be alive. It could have been a fatal attack if it wasn't for the quick thinking of his friends."

Great white sharks are a protected species, but a spate of recent attacks in Australia has led to calls for a cull. South Australia is particularly notorious for great whites.

Earlier this month, Jake Heron suffered cuts to his arm and leg after a great white attacked him and bit his surfboard in two. Mr Heron, 40, had been surfing near the fishing town of Port Lincoln, 170 miles west of Adelaide, when the shark attacked. He punched the 13ft shark before a wave swept him to safety.

Last month, a marine biologist, Jarrod Stehbens, 23, was killed by a great white shark as he dived for cuttlefish eggs off a beach near Adelaide.

Last December, an 18-year-old surfer, Nick Peterson, died after being attacked by a great white off Adelaide. It was the fifth fatal attack in the region in the past five years.

The attacks have prompted the authorities in South Australia to provide a rescue helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft that will patrol the coastline in the coming summer season.

Australia's first documented shark attack was in 1791 and there have been about 630 attacks in the past 200 years, about 190 of them fatal.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Account Manager

£30 - 38k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a digitally focussed Account Man...

Recruitment Genius: Service Advisor - Automotive

£21000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading...

Recruitment Genius: Legal Secretary - Family Law

£21000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing professional legal pr...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Java

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This exciting and disruptive co...

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935