< Two Spearfisherman Fought Shark • Tracking Sharks

Two Spearfisherman Fought Shark

Two spear fishermen fought a shark in French Polynesia on Monday.

Hoatua Iotua Photo:TVTN News
Hoatua Iotua Photo: TVTN News

Cousins Teva Tokoragi and Hoatua Iotua were spearfishing off Makemo, which is part of the Tuamotu Atolls.

Mr. Iotua had just speared a fish when a 6-foot grey reef shark came in to steal the catch.

Tokoragi shot his spear gun at the shark and hit the shark’s fin. Thinking it was knocked out, he swam up to the shark and reclaim his spear.  As he was attempting to remove the spear, the shark turned around and locked onto Tokoragi’s wrist.

Iotua swam over to assist his cousin and both men fought the shark in an attempt to break its grasp on Tokoragi.

Iotua started hitting the shark’s head forcing it to release its grasp on Tokoragi, who was then able to enter their boat.

As Iotua began climbing aboard, the shark returned and grabbed his leg.

A female grey reef shark off Wake Island - PIFSC, NOAA -
A female grey reef shark off Wake Island – PIFSC, NOAA –

“I started to get into the boat, but (the shark) grabbed my knee so I fell into the sea and I had another fight with the shark: I grabbed it so it didn’t tear my knee,” he told NDTV.

Once again, Iotua began hitting the shark on its head. Tokoragi tried to cut and stab the sharks tail while it was still attached to Iotua.

Eventually Iotua was able to push the shark’s head down and it released its grip.

He quickly entered the boat and the two traveled back to seek medical attention.

Tokoragi suffered the most serious injury with wounds to both his wrist and leg and was airlifted to the hospital Taaone of Tahiti.

Iotua was treated at his village and will travel to the hospital on the next available flight.

The approximate location has been marked on the 2016 shark attack bites tracking map.

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