Shark bites surfer in the United Kingdom

2017_shark_attack_bite_ Bantham Beach_ South Devon_ Rich Thomson_United_Kingdom

A surfer was bitten by a shark in the United Kingdom.

Rich Thomson has become the first known surfer to have been bitten by a shark in the United Kingdom.

The 30-year-old was hitting the waves June 6 off Bantham Beach in South Devon when a small shark latched onto his leg.

“I turned round and saw this little shark was on my thigh and wriggling its head side to side,” he told the BBC

“I hit it on the head and it swam off.

My hand was cut to pieces.”

The Kingsbridge Community College teacher estimated the shark to be about 1m (3ft) long and said it left a bruise around three inches wide across his thigh. He was wearing a thick wetsuit and believes the wound could have been a lot worse had he not been wearing the thick material.

“It won’t stop me going back in the water and it shouldn’t stop anyone, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time” he said.

The shark was most likely a smooth hound which may have become disoriented in the surf.

“I have never caught any fish while fishing but the biggest one I’ve ever caught attached itself to my leg,” he said.

There have been a total of 50* shark attack bites in 2017, 5 of which were fatal*; 22 were reported in the US, with 16 occurring in Florida** and one in Hawaii. Nine occurred in Australia, one of which was fatal and one with no injury.  Three 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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