WARNING – GRAPHIC CONTENT: A fisherman has been left with 30 stitches in his arm after encountering a shark in the Northern Territory.
Karl Waters was spearfishing off an island in the Gulf of Carpentaria on Sunday about 12.20pm when he was attacked by the whitetip reef shark.
He shared video explaining the incident along with photos of his injuries on Facebook.
Mr Waters said he was trying to catch a trout when he got caught in a coral bed.
That’s when he encountered a 1.2-metre whitetip reef shark who was also interested in his lunch.
“The whitetip came flying out of nowhere,” he said.
“I didn’t even see it coming until it was on top of me and the fish. He was trying to get the fish and accidentally hit my arm.”
The fisherman said he received 30 stitches in the top part of his arm and more on the underside near his elbow.
“But all in all, pretty good,” he said.
“Didn’t damage my tattoo, didn’t damage any muscle tissue or tendons or anything like that. So, he was really good about it.
“Not a bad shark at all.”
Mr Waters believes it was “purely a case of mistaken identity” and the shark was just chasing the trout.
The fisherman added the shark “didn’t really bite down” because if it had his “whole arm would have been messed up”.
“As they say, you enter the sea, you enter the food chain,” he said.
“It’s definitely not going to stop me getting in the water.”
He was helped by friend Kane Shambrook back to the shore at Umbakumba before he was hospitalised.
He was flown to Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition.
St John Ambulance’s Craig Carraway told the ABC Mr Waters’ injuries were minor.
Careflight northern operations manager Jodie Mills added “he’s very lucky”.
“It was not nearly as bad as it perhaps could’ve been,” she told the ABC.
Last month, another fisherman left many shocked when he caught five bull sharks in a popular camping spot off the NSW Mid North Coast.
In November, a diver in the Bahamas was filmed being bitten by a shark on the head.
He managed to escape with only minor injuries.
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