*Graphic* Surfer bitten by shark in Phuket

A surfer was bitten by a shark at Kamala in the Kathu District, Phuket.

Keita Koshigoe was around 200 meters off the beach August 16, when he was bitten on the left foot.

The 37-year-old was able to make it back to the beach around 12:30 p.m. and was given first aid.

Link to graphic image.

The Japanese tourist opted to go to the hospital by himself.

“After checking the wounds we believed that it was a Blacktip Reef Shark,” Dr Kongkiet Kittiwattanawong told The Phuket News.

“These sharks can be found near the coral reef close to the shore in both the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. These sharks are about one to two metres long at a mature age. They are not fierce. They like to eat small fish. The shark thought that the Japanese man was a bait, so it attacked,” the Chief of the Marine Endangered Species Unit at the Phuket Marine Biological Center said.

“This incident was similar to the incident two years ago at Karon Beach. At that time many marine experts believed that it was a Bull Shark bite. These sharks are very fierce. Some people believed that it was the puffer fish but actually it could also have been a Blacktip Reef Shark.” Dr Kongkiet said. Adding “There is no need to be worry as these incidents happened very rarely,”

Link to graphic image.

The last reported shark attack bite in the area that Tracking Sharks is aware of, occurred on September 1, 2015.

Australian tourist Jane Neame was in chest deep water at Karon Beach when she was bitten twice on the left foot.

The pregnant 37-year-old was pulled from the water and had a tendon missing from the top of her foot.

She thinks it may be possible that she stepped on the shark and then it bit her in defense.

There have been a total of 68* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 33 were reported in the US, with 21 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury. Four unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Bites Tracking Map.

*Two may be scavenge. **One report may have been outside of Florida waters.

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