Surfer attacked by shark off Taranaki coast

A surfer was left with 10 bloody tooth-marks after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Taranaki at dusk yesterday.

Peter Garrett suffered the cuts, each about 2cm deep, when a shark mauled him while he was out on the Arawhata Rd surf break, just north of Opunake about 7pm.

Mr Garrett, a New Zealander who has been living in Ireland for the last 15 years, was treated on the beach by two veterinarians who had been surfing nearby, Fairfax reported today.

James Bruce, an Eltham vet, was surfing with Manaia vet Matt Thomas when they saw the shark attempt to take a bite out of the surfer.

"I heard him shrieking, he was freaking out and thrashing around. He kind of kicked it off him and went in on the next couple of waves and went straight for the rocks," Mr Bruce said.

The "interested'' shark was unperturbed by being shunted away, and headed towards the pair surfing nearby.

"We came in when it started circling us,'' Mr Thomas said. "It nudged my mate Brucey and tried to get his fins. Then I was like, bugger this, I'm going in.''

Once on shore the pair treated Mr Garrett's cuts with iodine and bandages, before he headed to a doctor.

"He was bleeding quite a bit, you could tell from the teeth marks it could've been more serious.''

Sharks were occasionally spotted in the surf although they usually didn't attack or cause trouble. Neither man knew what kind of shark it was.

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