Thursday, April 12, 2012

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Kelly Slater Starts ASP Season Fast

ASP champion Kelly Slater finished second at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, clinching the ASP World No. 1 position after just two events on the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour.

© ASP/ Kirstin
Photographer: Kirstin Scholtz

Surfer Punches Shark And Survives

By Catharine Paddock PhD
Medical News Today
07 Apr 2012

It is not often we hear of an encounter with a shark where the shark slinks away and the human survives relatively unscathed. But this week, we have news of how 28-year-old Joshua Holley from Hawaii, fended off a shark that attacked him - while he was surfing off the coast of Oahu where he lives - by punching it in the face.

Holley told ABC News he first felt a push on his body, and when he looked to his left he saw a large dorsal fin and then felt a "popping" sensation in his foot. Later in hospital, he discovered the shark bite had severed two tendons and made a wound requiring 42 stitches, but luckily had punctured no major arteries.

The shark then went under the water and came up on the other side. Holley did some quick thinking, remembered the most sensitive part of a shark was the snout, and then:

"I'm kind of holding it and it's coming out on the right side, I punched him once and twice with my right hand, it submerged and swam off," said Holley.

Other surfers came to the rescue and helped Holley make his way back to the beach.

He said he was terrified at the time, but felt an instinct kick in that made him say to the shark, "I'm not gonna die today".

Despite his terrifying encounter, Holley bears no resentment toward the shark, which he describes as about 10 feet long and likely a tiger shark. He said he is not angry with the shark, it's just doing what comes naturally.

"You have to remember when you're in the ocean you have to respect the ocean, that's where they eat, live, breed - we're just visitors in their home," he told ABC News.

Holley says he fully intends to be back in the water, as soon as the doctors say he can. But first he must wait for his injuries to heal: he is going to need orthopedic surgery and treatment on his foot.

Tiger sharks are large, blunt-bosed predators named for the dark, vertical stripes found mainly on juveniles: the lines start to fade and almost disappear as they grow into adults.

According to National Geographic, tiger sharks have a "duly earned reputation as man-eaters", second only to great white sharks in attacking people.

But whereas a white shark may well swim away after biting a human, a tiger shark is more likely to stay and finish the job, because of a "near completely undiscerning palate".

As well as humans, they eat nearly everything: they have sharp, highly serrated teeth and powerful jaws. They can crack open the shells of sea turtles and clams.

Stomach contents of captured tiger sharks have revealed a nearly limitless menu of diet items, including seals, birds, squids, stingrays, sea snakes, and even license plates and old tires.

It would seem that thanks to some quick thinking, and the fact the shark chose to bite his foot first, Holley had a very lucky escape.