Australians pull no punches when it comes to sharks

Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:22am EST
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By Michael Perry

SYDNEY (Reuters) - An Australian man fought off a shark as he snorkeled near Sydney Monday, freeing his leg from its jaws with a punch.

"I just turned and started swinging. I think I got one on him," Steven Foggarty, 24, told local media as he stood on crutches outside hospital.

"I just saw the blood all over both feet and had a quick look to make sure both legs were there and they were there."

Foggarty was bitten on his right leg by the bull shark as he snorkelled in the mouth of Lake Illawarra, south of Sydney. He suffered 40 puncture wounds to his calf.

It was the third shark attack in Australia in two days.

Off Australia's southern island state of Tasmania, an Australian surfer punched a five-meter (16-ft) shark in the head as he rescued his 13-year-old cousin who had been bitten on the leg and dragged beneath the water Sunday.

The pair were surfing when the white-pointer grabbed the girl's leg and dragged her down twice. Her cousin, Syb Mundy, 20, paddled over, punched the shark, put the girl onto his surfboard with him and paddled into shore.

Mundy said hitting the shark on the head "was like hitting a brick wall -- it was that dense." "It was easily the length of a car. It was just a monster," Mundy told local radio on Monday.   Continued...

<p>A surfboard which a bite taken out of it by a shark in Binalong Bay, near St Helens, Tasmania is seen in this handout obtained January 12, 2009.REUTERS/Tasmania Police/Handout</p>