Teenager bitten by shark in Oamaru Harbour

An Oamaru teenager was taken to hospital after being attacked by a shark in Oamaru Harbour this afternoon.

Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, said a group of about five young people had been jumping off Holmes Wharf and paddling in the harbour when the 13-year-old girl was attacked.

Emergency services were called to Friendly Bay about 4.30pm, and witnesses told police the shark was dark grey in colour and about 6ft long, Sgt Woodbridge said.

It was believed to be a sevengill shark, which were often spotted in the Oamaru Harbour area. There had been several reports of sightings on social media over the past month.

The 13-year-old girl had several puncture wounds, and was taken to Oamaru Hospital for treatment.

Sgt Woodbridge said the girl was in good spirits after the attack, and the injuries were not life threatening.

“It’s good it’s not a fatality . . . she will live to tell a pretty amazing tale," he said.

The attack came as a shock to the group of young people swimming in the harbour, one of them witnessing the girl being gripped in the shark’s mouth and shaken around, he said.

Sgt Woodbridge advised people heading into the water to keep a watch for sharks and be cautious.

“When you enter that water, you’re in their [the sharks’] backyard," he said.

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