POSTED: 4:30 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2012
SYDNEY>> A snorkeling guide was attacked by a 10-foot (3-meter) tiger shark off a remote beach in Australia’s third attack this month. That’s as many attacks as the country generally sees in an entire year.
David Pickering, 26, was leading a group of snorkelers through a lagoon at Western Australia’s Coral Bay on Thursday when the shark swam up to him and sunk its teeth into his arm.
“I turned around and boom, there he was,” Pickering told reporters. “(The force) was enough to actually bring me forward and under him because I scraped my knee on his belly.”
Pickering said he punched the shark with his other arm and it backed off. He then yelled at the other snorkelers — a couple and their two children — to get out of the water before swimming the 300 feet back to shore.
“I’m pretty stoked that it happened to me and not one of those kids,” he said.
Pickering was taken to a hospital in Perth with severe lacerations to his arm. His injuries were not life-threatening and he was in stable condition, Royal Flying Doctor Service spokeswoman Joanne Hill said.
The attack came one day after a surfer was bitten by a shark at a beach off Australia’s east coast.
Another surfer was attacked at a beach north of Sydney on Jan. 3.
Despite the encounter, Pickering said the attack wouldn’t keep him away from the ocean.
“I’ll definitely be back in the water — as soon as this bad boy is healed up,” he said, holding his arm up with a laugh.