Skip to comments.Diver fights clear of shark's jaws
Posted on 01/23/2007 1:38:52 AM PST by Dundee
AN abalone diver has survived a terrifying attack by a white pointer shark, which swallowed his head and shoulders before he fought free of the predator.
Eric Nerhus, 41, was diving off the New South Wales south coast today when the 3m shark seized him head on, crunching on his head, shoulders and chest, he told friends later.
Protected from the worst of the shark's bite by a lead-lined weight vest, the diver stabbed and clubbed at the creature's head and eyes with an abalone chisel until it spat him free.
The shark's bite crushed Mr Nerhus's reinforced face mask, broke his nose, and shredded his wetsuit.
With blood pouring from deep wounds to his head, chest and back, Mr Nerhus surfaced off Cape Howe, near Eden, to be pulled aboard a boat by his son Mark, 25.
Suffering blood loss and shock, he was flown to Wollongong Hospital, where he was stable and conscious tonight, telling friends of his miraculous escape.
"He was actually bitten by the head down, the shark swallowed his head," said fellow diver and friend Dennis Luobikis.
"I think Eric's the first professional abalone diver that's actually survived a white pointer attack," added Mr Luobikis, 52.
Doctors said the shark had "taken the diver completely into its mouth".
But Mr Luobikis said Mr Nerhus' weight vest had probably saved his life.
All divers need lead to submerge but abalone divers use a lead vest rather than a weight belt.
"We've always felt (the vest) would probably help us in a shark attack and this is the first time we've had it confirmed," Mr Luobikis said.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.com.au ...
Just goes to prove that you should never give up.
A Great White swallowed my head and shoulders. If you see him, I want 'em back.
Oh, yeah, that'd give you nightmares for a few weeks. Good thing he held onto that abalone chisel.
plenty of motivation to dive where great whites don't live.
Whitetip doesn't want Aussies with good taste, they want Aussies that taste good...
I always get a laugh from the "nature" shows and "experts" ,that giggle profusely when they describe the sharks as confused creatures, that only want to eat their own food.
Then in same breath they marvel at saying that sharks are scavengers of the sea.
So I always wanted to ask the geniuses which is it, are they gourmet eaters or just slobs that munch on anything...
"So I always wanted to ask the geniuses which is it, are they gourmet eaters or just slobs that munch on anything... "
They are animals who eat when they are hungry. The sharks I've come across underwater haven't bothered me in the least. Other than scaring me badly.
its like a bullet, you don't hear the one that hits you
Maybe the Shark was just lookin for..... a mate.
Is that an abalone chisel in his hand?
No. It's a machete.
I guess that happens to a great many scary movies over time. Special effects, etc. are amped up for the next generation(s).
I saw Jaws that year at a theater-owners' premiere. My friends couldn't understand my trepidation at the beach...until about two or three weeks later when they'd all seen it.
"I think this must be the only man in history to have had his entire head inside the mouth of a Great White and lived."
I don't believe this was a great white...there is a white tip shark, which I think is being referred to here as a "white pointer". It was "only" 3 m long (a bit over 9 feet), much smaller than a large great white at over 7 m (and 2 tons).
I think the crush force from a large great white's jaws would kill you even if the teeth couldn't penetrate. I sure wouldn't want to test it one way or the other... ;-)
He's gonna need a bigger head.
It's just what the Aussies call them.
White Tip can refer to the Oceanic White Tip -a large shark that are usually in open sea and can be found around ship wrecks or can refer to some reef sharks that are usually smaller.
"its like a bullet, you don't hear the one that hits you"
Was doing a shore dive with my son looking for...fossilized sharks teeth of all things. We had surfaced and were discussing whether to keep looking or swim the 300yds back to shore. About that time my son says in an excited voice "I just saw a dorsal fin". We made pretty good time back to shore. The visibility was about 4 feet.