UPDATE: Man Attacked By Shark In Australia; Watch Alan Saunders Survive Near-Lethal Encounter [VIDEO]

By iScienceTimes Staff on April 22, 2013 10:24 AM EDT

Great White Shark
Great white sharks will often flip over when attacking prey (Photo: Creative Commons)

UPDATE

According to local newspaper the Manning River Times Alan Saunders is recovering in John Hunter Hospital after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Australia last week. Alan is said to be recovering well after an operation to his leg Sunday night, in which a piece of broken shark tooth was removed from his bone.  

A man attacked by a shark in Australia was trying to help free the animal after it had became ensnared in a fishing net. Alan Saunders was bitten last week while fishing in shallow waters off the coast of New South Wales. He inadvertently snagged three grey nurse sharks (also known as sand tiger sharks) in his net on Sunday and started to release them. While freeing the second shark, the first one turned back and attacked him.

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"Alan was involved in removing one of the sharks out of the wings of the net," the fisherman's brother, Ray Saunders told Yahoo. "He released that shark but another shark came in and bit him on both legs."

Here's the video of the man attacked by a shark in Australia on Sunday courtesy of a local news station:

Emergency services including surf life savers were quickly on the scene. The 51-year-old was flown by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to the hospital, where he was treated for puncture wounds and lacerations to his legs stemming from the grey nurse shark attack. According to Wikipedia the grey nurse shark "lives close to the shorelines and sandy beaches of North America, hence the name sand tiger shark. It also dwells in the waters of Japan, Australia, and South Africa. Despite its fearsome appearance and strong swimming ability, it is a relatively placid and slow-moving shark. This species has a sharp, pointy head, and a bulky body. The sand tiger's length can reach 3.0 to 3.4 meters (9.8 to 11.2 ft). They are grey with reddish-brown spots on their backs. The sand tiger prefers to hunt close to shore, and shivers (groups) have been observed to hunt large schools of fish. Their diet consists of bony fish, crustaceans, squid, and skates."

Fortunately, the man attacked by the shark in Australia will survive his encounter. If you happen to find yourself on the business end of a shark, here are some safety tips that could help save your life, too.

• If you are in the water, remain calm. You cannot outswim a shark and sharks can sense fear

• Keep your eye on the shark at all times. Sharks may retreat temporarily and then try to sneak up on you

• If you can't get out of the water right away, try to reduce the shark's possible angles of attack

• Fight. Playing dead doesn't work. A hard blow to the shark's gills, eyes, or, as a last resort, to the tip of its nose will cause the shark to retreat. If a shark continues to attack, or if it has you in its mouth, hit these areas repeatedly with hard jabs, and claw at the eyes and gills

• If you are near shore, swim quickly, but smoothly. Thrashing will attract the shark's attention

• Sharks have difficulty biting things that are vertical (their nose gets in the way) so avoid leaving your hands and feet loose or going horizontal to swim away from the shark

• Sharks can't breathe out of water, so, if possible, hold the bitten part of your body out of the water, and get their gills into the air and they will let go of you

• Sharks tend to thrash prey around to tear chunks out of it, so you should latch on to the shark

• Repress the urge to scream. Screaming will not deter the shark much and may provoke it further.

And, because that footage of the man attacked by the shark in Australia was a little weak, here's some incredibly awesome footage of a shark attack:

Want More Shark Attack News?

Hawaii Shark Attack: 61-Year-Old Man Lives From 10 Foot Tiger Shark Bite

Shark Kills Surfer Off California Beach; Francisco Javiar Solorio Killed Day After Anniversary of 2010 Shark Attack

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