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Aussie man escapes Great White attack

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26.JAN.07

AUSTRALIA – An Australian diver has escaped from the jaws of a Great White shark which had grabbed him by the head.

Eric Nerhus, 41, was diving off Cape Howe on Australia’s south-east coast when he was attacked.

A fellow diver said the three-metre (10-foot) shark bit Nerhus from the head down, crushing his face mask inwards and breaking his nose.{{more}}

He managed to break free and was hauled aboard a waiting boat. His condition is described as serious but stable.

“Eric is a tough boy, he’s super-fit,” his friend and fellow diver Dennis Luobikis told reporters.

“But I would say that would test anyone’s resolve, being a fish lunch.”

Luobikis, Nerhus and his son – as well as other friends – were fishing for abalone off the coast, some 400km (249 miles) south of Sydney, when the attack happened.

“He was actually bitten by the head down, the shark swallowed his head,” Luobikis said.

The shark then took a second bite, this time seizing Nerhus by the body and biting into his torso.

Luobikis said his friend “pushed his abalone chisel” into the shark’s head, managing to wrestle himself free before the shark swam away.

“He came up to the surface and was going: “Help, help there’s a shark,” Nerhus’s 25-year-old son Mark said later.

“And I went over and there was a big pool of blood, and I pulled him out of the water he was just: “Get me to shore, get me to shore”.”

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