JUNIOR doctor James Grant was spearfishing with friends near Colac Bay at the base of the South Island on Saturday when he was attacked by what he believed was a sevengill shark.
The 24-year-old was in about 2m of murky water when he felt a tug on his leg, which he initially thought was a mate playing a trick on him.
“I looked behind to see who it was and got a bit of a shock,” he told Radio New Zealand.
He didn’t see the shark and had no idea how big it was. He thought it might have been about 20cm across the jaw.
However, he wasn’t scared.
“(I thought) bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg.”
He already had a knife in his hand and stabbed at the shark.
“I am not sure how effective it was. I guess it let go so something must have happened, put a few nicks in it.”
He quickly made it onto rocks on shore.
It wasn’t until he took off the wetsuit – borrowed from a friend – that he saw the bites, up to 5cm long. He was thankful for the 7mm of wetsuit neoprene.
He gave himself stitches using a first aid kit he kept in his vehicle for pig hunts.
He and his friends then went to the Colac Bay Tavern, where he was given a bandage because he was dripping blood on the floor.
The stitching was finished off when he went to Invercargill Hospital, where he was back at work on Monday.