Shark attack

A French tourist was attacked by a shark while she was body boarding last Thursday afternoon at Curio Bay near Invercargill. The shark bit her leg above her knee but she was able to pull open the shark’s jaw and get her legs free. The board had a bite taken out of it and her wetsuit was ripped into several pieces.

This bay is popular with surfers. The woman and her 3 friends hired boards from the surfing school and were enjoying the waves when she was bitten. Her friends helped her get to shore and used towels to stop the blood. Local people put her on a stretcher and took her to a house to keep warm. Meanwhile someone called 111 and about 30 minutes later, a helicopter took her to Dunedin hospital. She remained conscious and was able to talk. She thinks the shark was a small one, about 2m long. Experts think it was probably a sevengill shark which can grow up to 3m.

Her injuries are not too serious but could take a long time to heal.

A surfer who was bitten by a shark 3 years ago at the same beach said it took 3 months for his wounds to heal. He has not been surfing again since then.

Shark attacks are very unusual in New Zealand. They are much more common in Australia.


• hire (v) – rent
• rip, tear (v or n) – used for fabric or paper; damage like a cut but without scissors; tear, tore, torn – 3 parts of the verb
• bite, bit, bitten – 3 parts of the verb.
• stretcher (n) – light bed that can be carried
• a wound (n) – injury (Note: there is a verb wound, which rhymes with sound. It’s the past tense of wind – to wind a fishing line onto a stick)
• to heal (v) – to mend (used of an injury or skin infection) Note: heel (n) is part of a foot. The pronunciation is the same as heal.

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