Australian Fisherman Fights off Shark Attack

An Australian spear fisherman spoke of his ordeal, after being attacked by a shark.

The 25-year-old Dean Brougham has deep cuts to his leg and hand after punching what he thinks was a White Pointer shark on Sunday. With predictions of up to 140 shark sightings off the metropolitan coastline this summer, Aussies worry over an unusually high number for this time of year.

A further three sharks were spotted later as novice spearfisherman Dean Brougham told of his remarkable survival from a shark attack. Surf Life Saving South Australia state manager Shane Daw said there had been "a spate on the weekend, with the 20 sightings on the one day."

"Last year, we had a similar thing, with 30 in one hit in December, and the year before, nearly 60," he said.

Yesterday, 25-year-old Brougham was adamant that the shark that attacked him on Sunday should not be hunted and killed.

"No way . . . that's the risk you take when you go out there, don't be scared off because it's their territory, but make sure you've got the proper protection," he said from his hospital bed at Flinders Medical Center. The Birkenhead gardener was testing his new wetsuit in the crystal-clear waters of the Fleurieu Peninsula on Sunday when he was mauled by what he believes was a 9-foot white pointer.

He was about 60 feet from shore when he felt a tug on his ankle and thought it was one of his mates fooling around.

"My first thought was that someone's playing a trick, tugging at my leg — until I turned around and saw the face," he said. "Then (I) just started punching it and pushing it off as soon as I could . . . I think I punched him in the mouth.

"I cut my hand up while I was trying to get him off. It didn't feel like my ankle was being hacked into, it just felt like it was getting grabbed."

As soon as he was free, Brougham knew he had just one option to save himself — to swim away as fast as possible.