Shark attack victim stitches himself up

  • Breaking
  • 27/01/2014

A medical degree came in handy for one Southland junior doctor after he was attacked by a shark while fishing.

James Grant fought off what's believed to be a sevengill shark, and stitched himself up before his mates took him to hospital.

Every fisherman has a story about "the one that got away", but Dr Grant his happy he did.

"[I felt] something tugging on my leg, and I thought it might have been one of my dive buddies," he says. "I turned around and I saw a big silver face looking at me and a big body trailing off behind."

Dr Grant was with friends near Cosy Nook on the southern coast, and thinks the hungry shark was attracted by blood from a fish he had just speared. So he attacked the shark.

"All I went to do was stab it as many times as I could really, and eventually it let go," he says.

Dr Grant, a junior doctor, scrambled to shore, grabbing a first-aid kit he kept for pig hunting. Then without thinking, he stitched himself up on the beach.

"I think I must have been pretty adrenalised at the time, because I couldn't really feel it."

His friends ventured ashore and with blood dripping down his leg, took Dr Grant to the nearby Colac Bay pub for a check-up.

"We gave him a pint of beer and his mates were kicking around, laughing," says Colac Bay Tavern co-owner Warren Bevin. "Then we brought out the big first-aid kit and got a little bandage out. There were a couple of good holes on both sides of his leg."

Dr Grant's thick neoprene wetsuit stopped the shark's razor-sharp teeth from doing more serious damage.

His colleagues at Southland Hospital later gave his leg a proper stitch-up, ensuring he'll have a tidy scar and a good fishy tale to tell.

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