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Woman fights off Great White shark

An Australian woman fought off a Great White Shark on Monday after it knocked her into the water from her surf ski at a popular tourist beach.

world Updated: Oct 16, 2007 00:05 IST
Michael Perry

An Australian woman fought off a Great White Shark on Monday after it knocked her into the water from her surf ski at a popular tourist beach.

"I thought this is it, he is going to grab my leg. I had my blade (paddle) and I just kept punching, punching, punching," Linda Whitehurst told local television.

Whitehurst suffered only small lacerations on her right arm in the fight with the 2.5-metre shark, before scrambling back onto her surf ski and paddling to shore at Byron Bay's famous surfing beach ‘The Pass’ on Australia's east coast.

"The shark circled the kayak (surf ski) and then swam directly at her," police inspector Owen King told local radio.

"She was able to (defend herself from) the shark by striking it in the mouth with the paddle from the kayak. The shark then took off and swam away from her."

Boats patrolled the area looking for the shark and people were advised not to go in the water. The beach reopened a few hours later. Lifeguards said the attack was the second incident involving a Great White in less than a week.

"There was a similar incident last Tuesday when a man in a kayak was menaced by a Great White, about eight to 10 foot long, at Wategos Beach, just the next beach around from where this woman was attacked today," said lifeguard Stephen Leahy.

The attack was the second in Australia in three days.