First shark attack on surfer in the UK

June 8, 2017 | Surfing
Rich Thomson: the first surfer ever attackeb by a shark in the UK | Photo: PA

A 30-year-old surfer survived a shark attack in Bantham Beach, near Devon, in England.

Rich Thomson was grabbed by the leg and bitten by a three-foot smooth-hound shark. As a result, he suffered cuts to his hands and a bruised leg.

According to researchers, it is the first time in the UK that the ocean's predator attacks a surfer. And the strike would have caused worse injuries if he had not worn a thick wetsuit.

"I turned around and saw this little shark was on my thigh and wriggling its head side to side. I hit it on the head, and it swam off. My hand was cut to pieces. I had a quite a sizeable bruise about three inches across," explained Thomson.

Bantham Beach is a consistent beach break located 10 kilometers west of Plymouth, next to the Avon river mouth. It is considered South Devon's finest surf spot.

"It won't stop me going back in the water, and it shouldn't stop anyone, I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I went home and told my wife I was late because I had been bitten by a shark. She said 'I've heard that one before,' but it was true."

When the South Coast chemistry teacher returns to the Kingsbridge Community College, his students will offer "Sharkbait" - his new nickname - a couple of shark ties.

Learn how to survive a shark attack.

Shark attack: Rich Thomson was grabbed by the leg and bitten by a three-foot smooth hound shark

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