Oh dear…. investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Posted by: on February 11th, 2010

This item can be read in its entirety on the ABC web site. Intriguing to see who was on the scene with a camera too.

Investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims

By Sean Rubinsztein-Dunlop

Authorities are investigating a surfer’s claim that he was attacked by a shark on Sydney’s Northern Beaches this morning.

Paul Welsh, 46, told a newspaper he had to cling to a rock to fight off a shark that he said had latched itself onto his leg.

Mr Welsh allegedly emerged from the water with a gash to his left leg around 8:00am (AEDT) at the Mona Vale Basin.

A New South Wales Health spokesman says the man had already sold his story to Channel Nine News by the time his wife had driven him to hospital.


Police are helping the Primary Industries Department with its investigation. They initially told the media the man had been attacked by a four-foot shark.

Shark spotter Michael Brown earlier told the ABC he was in the water with his 13-year-old son when he saw “a whole lot of thrashing”.

“It’s launched straight up into him, knocked him out of the water and then latched onto his leg, and luckily, he had a chance to grab onto a rock and the shark’s actually thrashing, trying to drag him back into the water,” he said.

“He’s managed to release himself from the shark and crawl up onto the rocks and just had a big bite mark in his leg and blood just streaming out of it.”

Mr Brown said he believed the animal was a two-metre-long great white shark.

As the director of SurfWatch Australia, an organisation that patrols for sharks and charges people for helicopter joyrides, Mr Brown has been agitating against the State Government for greater protections against sharks.

After three attacks in Sydney last year, he accused the Government of ignoring an email that had warned of a sharp increase in shark numbers.

via Investigation launched into Sydney shark attack claims – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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