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Bard
09-24-2005, 05:48 PM
Updated: 06:38 PM EDT
Surfer Fights Off Shark With His Fists


SYDNEY (Sept. 24) - An Australian surfer survived a shark attack by repeatedly punching a small shark he first thought was a seal, the second incident of its kind this month, local radio reported on Saturday.

Brad Satchell, 44, was surfing about 390 feet offshore at the popular Scarborough beach in Perth, capital of Western Australia state, on Friday when he was attacked.

"I actually had a smile on my face when I first saw the thing because I thought it was a seal," Satchell told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

He said he turned his surfboard on its side to use as a shield when the shark, which he said may may have been a bronze whaler more than a metre in length, began to attack him. He was unhurt and paddled to safety.

"I lifted my body out of the water and I just got my fists and I remember what I'd read in the paper. I just started punching and I connected with its head," Satchell said.

On Sept. 4, 40-year-old surfer Jake Heron was attacked off South Australia state's Eyre Peninsula as his two children watched in horror from the beach.

Heron was bitten on the arm and thigh and his surfboard was chomped in two by a four-meter shark but fought the shark off by kicking and punching it.

A marine biologist was killed by a shark while diving off the South Australian capital Adelaide in August, the second fatal shark attack in the area since last December.

Australia's first documented shark attack was in 1791 and there have been about 630 attacks in the past 200 years, about 190 of them fatal.


09/24/05 04:02 ET