Encounters.


Student suffers leg injuries after shark drags her underwater off South Africa coast

  • 04 July 2010
Shark involved.
Tiger shark

Activity at time of attack.
Snorkeling

Attack severity.
  • scarring
A student has been left with severe cuts to her leg after she was attacked by a shark off the South African coast.

Sarah Haiden was snorkelling at a reef a mile offshore near the Mozambique border when she was dragged under the water.

The 21-year-old had been swimming with three other divers and thought one of them was 'playing a joke on her', before she realised she had been attacked by the killer fish.

The crew of a speed boat which had taken her and the other divers to the reef managed to pull her from the water and she was rushed to hospital with injuries to her lower left leg.

Miss Haiden, who studies environmental science at the University of Cape Town, told the Cape Times: 'While the guys were diving, a friend and I were snorkelling.

'My friend got back into the boat and I was swimming to the buoy where the divers had gone down.

'I started swimming back to the boat when I felt something bump me. At first I thought one of the divers was playing a joke on me but realised that they were too deep to have come up so quickly.

'The next thing I saw this shark in front of me as it went for my legs. I kicked out at it as I had heard that you should try and kick them in the face to chase them away.

'It grabbed my left leg, and I kept kicking and screaming like a banshee. Luckily, for some reason it let go of my leg and swam away.'

Miss Haiden, who has been working at a local game reserve during the university holidays, said she was unsure what type of shark had attacked her at Sodwana Bay.

Aggressive Great Whites and Bull sharks are common off the warm Kwazulu-Natal coast at this time of year.

There are an average of six shark attacks a year off the South African coast, with a quarter proving fatal.

The student is due to be released from hospital today.
Article source: Daily Mail
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