Lydia Ward, 14, was bitten on the waist by what is believed to be a 1.5 metre broad-nosed sevengill shark while boogie boarding at Oreti beach near Invercargill on New Zealand’s South Island. The incident occured in the evening of 1 February 2010.
She struck the shark with her boogie board after it had bitten through her wetsuit and sunk its teeth into her hip.
Lydia was chest deep in water, waiting to catch a last good wave alongside 10-year-old brother when she stepped on something slippery on the sea floor.
“At first I wasn’t quite sure what it was. And I was trying to say to myself it was just a piece of driftwood,” she said.
“Then I stood on it again, and I just looked at my brother’s face and he said ‘whoa’. And I looked to my side and I just saw this massive grey thing twisting in the water.”
The shark lunged at her and bit her. Lydia thinks the adrenalin flowing through her body might have prevented her from feeling anything.
“So I hit it with the end of my boogie board and that scared it away.”
She could see blood in the water “but I couldn’t run … so it was quite nerve-racking.
“I only realised it bit me when I hopped out of the water and saw the bite marks through my wetsuit.”
Her injuries were not serious.
New Zealand Herald