Bull Shark wrecks havoc

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SYDNEY  –  A man survived an attack by a shark off Australia’s east coast Friday, but lost a finger and suffered a serious bite to the thigh, ambulance officials said.

The 29-year-old was in the water near Port Macquarie, 390 kilometres (242 miles) north of Sydney, when he was mauled.

“A rescue helicopter was called,” a New South Wales ambulance spokesman said.

“On arrival paramedics found a 29-year-old male with shark bites, allegedly from a bull shark, to his right hand and right thigh.

“The man lost his index finger and knuckle as a result of the attack.”

He was stabilised at the scene before being rushed to hospital.

Sharks are common in Australian waters and while fatalities are rare, experts say attacks are increasing in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.

A 24-year-old surfer died in July after being bitten in half in a savage attack north of the Western Australia capital Perth, the fifth such fatality in that region in less than a year.  –  AFP