|12-16-2005, 12:54 PM||#1|
Panama City Dive Charters
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Panama City Beach, Fl
"It was on", says shark basher
By Michael Madigan
A SPEARFISHERMAN punched a shark during a melee with half a dozen of the sea predators off the far north Queensland coast on Sunday morning.
Glenn Simpson, 44, a Melbourne builder, was left with a large chunk missing from his right elbow and 30 puncture holes in his arm.
He was snorkelling while his two teenage sons were spearfishing nearby off Port Douglas about 11am from his 14m game boat The Allure when the attacks occurred.
Speaking from his hospital bed in Cairns yesterday, Mr Simpson said he had noticed shark activity in the water at St Crispins Reef but was not overly concerned. The sharks were only white-tipped reef sharks, with the biggest under about 1.5m long.
However, when his son Luke, 15, speared a coral trout, about five sharks appeared and ripped apart the fish.
The shark pack then turned on Mr Simpson and Luke.
"Within seconds, it was on. They just came from nowhere," Mr Simpson said.
"One was definitely coming at my shoulder (and) I punched (it) away. The next thing I knew I had one latched on to my arm.
Mr Simpson said his main concern was for the safety of his sons. Dylan, 13, was about 100m away fishing on another reef.
Both boys escaped injury.
The attack comes one year after Cairns man Mark Thompson, 38, died after he was bitten on the leg while spearfishing on Opal Reef.
Mr Simpson said he would probably go back fishing and did not support calls for massive shark culls.
"We did nothing different to what we have done dozens and dozens and dozens of time before," he said.
But he added that he would probably not go back spearfishing for at least this week.
A Cairns Hospital spokesman said Mr Simpson remained in a stable condition yesterday afternoon. The hospital was not sure when he would be discharged.
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