Shark victim may have filmed his own attack

UPDATE 5.15PM: A Department of Primary Industries shark expert has confirmed a wobbegong was the species responsible for a minor bite to the foot of a 12 year old boy in Byron Bay today.

 

UPDATE 4PM: The 12 year old boy bitten by a shark in Byron Bay today is not entirely convinced a wobbegong is to blame.

Zak Kedem said he was only able to catch a glimpse of the creature's head, but what he saw appeared to be grey on top and white on the bottom with "small little beady eyes."

"By the photos we've seen of what a wobbegong looks like, it doesn't look like one, but I don't know," he said.

"They've said also that grey nurse sharks have also teeth that could make that mark."

Zak said he had been body surfing at Main Beach in Byron Bay and getting some GoPro footage when "a shark came and bit my foot."

"It was really painful, it just like, latched on to my foot, and I managed to kick it off.

"And then I ran out of the water and I was saying shark to people, who were right next to me, but people just didn't care.

"I only saw its head. It looked pretty big by its head.

"It was pretty scary."

"I've been in the hospital since 11ish this morning and just got out now."

Despite the experience, brave Zak said he wasn't deterred from heading back out in the ocean.

"I'm just waiting to get back in the water," he said.

"Not really scared by them just respect them even more after this."

 

UPDATE 2.40PM: GIL Kedem, the father of 12 year old Zak Kedem who was bitten by a wobbegong in Byron today, said his son was filming surfers with his GoPro camera when he was "bit by a local member of the beach."

Mr Kedem said the family, who are based in Sydney, are regulars on the North Coast and have been holidaying in Byron since before Zak was born.

He said there was a chance the culprit could have been caught on his son's GoPro camera, but they won't know until later on today.

"His experience was obviously scary," he said.

"Anything that bites you under the water (is when) you don't know what it is."

Mr Kedem said the experience wouldn't be enough to deter the family from returning to Byron Bay for  holidays in the future.

"My son really loves the sea, so obviously it was a bit of a scare but Byron's a nice place and we're really happy holidaying here," he said.

A NSW Department of Primary Industries shark biologist will examine photographs of the wound to confirm the species involved.

The family are still at Byron Bay Hospital undergoing tests, however the wound is understood to be very minor.

 

UPDATE 2.10PM: SOUTHERN Cross University shark expert Danny Bucher said wobbegong sharks have long, skinny teeth, designed for holding on to struggling prey.

"They're not cutting teeth, but they do have a reputation for biting and hanging on, a bit like a bulldog," he said.

"And that can often cause problems, particularly if it's a very large one.

"I don't know if they've ever actually caused a fatality but it would be more the panic and drowning of something clamping onto your leg rather than the injury itself."

Dr Bucher said the sharks, which reside predominantly on the floor of rocky reefs, can grow up to two meters in size.

"They'll leave you alone if you leave them alone but sometimes, when they come right into the shallows, people can accidentally step on them and suddenly find one clamped onto their leg," he said.

"It can be pretty terrifying, but it's usually not life-threatening.

"They're more of a rocky reefs animal, so it's unusual to find them on open sand, but they'll occasionally be found there."

 

WEDNESDAY 1.30PM: SURF Life Savers have said a 12-year-old boy is expected to make a speedy recovery after suffering a minor puncture wound to his foot in an encounter with a 2-3ft shark while swimming at First Sun Beach today.

The boy was swimming at the popular beach just north of Byron Bay when he suffered the injury just after midday, NSW Surf Life Saving said.

 

 

It is believed that the puncture wounds were caused as a result of a bite by a Wobbegong Shark, and it is not known if the boy is a tourist or a local.

Lifeguards were immediately informed of the incident with the State Operations Centre also alerted.

No major first aid treatment or ambulance was required; however the boy's parents did take him to a local hospital as a precaution.

The NSW Department of Primary Industries has been informed of the incident.



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