Australian bitten after taunting shark

April 25, 2011 - 0:0

SYDNEY (AP) – An Australian teenager who was taunting a shark with a dead fish ended up getting bitten on the heel, according to reports.

The 17-year-old was airlifted for surgery after being attacked by the one-metre (three foot) reef shark near the west coast city of Carnarvon late Saturday, the Royal Flying Doctor Service said.
Witnesses said the teen was dangling a fish he had caught to try and attract the reef shark in shallow water and was bitten after being knocked over by a wave.
“(There were) heaps of people on the beach, heaps of kids in the water, so it was pretty silly really, feeding sharks when there were kids about,” one witness told ABC Radio.
Reef sharks are not considered particularly aggressive but have been known to attack if provoked.
Sharks are common in Australia but fatal attacks are rare, with only 53 deaths in the last half-century, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.
Most recently, a surfer and wake boarder were savaged by sharks in separate incidents north of Sydney last month.