UK & World News

  • 7 July 2014, 1:07

Hooked Great White Shark Attacks Swimmer

A great white shark broke free from a fisherman's line and then swam off and savaged a long-distance swimmer.

The victim, Steven Robles, told Sky News he escaped from the shark's jaws by grabbing its nose.

He was taken to hospital with wounds to his stomach and chest in the attack off southern California's Manhattan Beach.

Mr Robles, who has since been discharged, told Sky: "I was able to use my right hand to grab the nose of the shark and pry it off my body.

"I was staring at this shark eyeball to eyeball, right on my chest ... I got lucky he let go. He disappeared as fast as he appeared."

The incident began when a man fishing off Manhattan Beach Pier hooked the shark, whose length was estimated at between 7ft (2m) and 10ft (3m).

He spent half an hour trying to reel in the great white before the line broke.

Los Angeles County Fire Department said the same agitated shark attacked the victim about 40 minutes later.

Mr Robles was training with a group of long-distance swimmers about 300 yards (270m) from the pier when he was bitten.

A surfer put him on his board and took him ashore.

"I was able to grab onto my friend and he was able to support me and keep me on top of the water - the whole time I was screaming and screaming," said Mr Robles.

Another surfer, Aram Ozen, said at first people thought the victim was having trouble swimming.

Then they heard the swimmers screaming "white, white!" referring to a great white shark.

"It was a scary scream," Mr Ozen told the LA Times. "It was kind of freaky. There were a lot people screaming back to shore."

The attack follows a series of shark sightings in the area.

Lifeguards kept people out of the water along a two-mile stretch of beach on Saturday as authorities enticed the shark away farther out to sea.