An Australian teen is recovering after he was attacked by a shark while spearfishing off Mollymook beach, leaving him with lacerations along his right hand.
Sam Smith was in the water with a friend, Luke Sisinni, when the attack occurred, according to News.com.au. The 17-year-old spotted the shark, believed to be a wobbegong, lying along the ocean floor. According to Sisinni, Smith descended toward the shark in an effort to film it, when it turned to attack.
"He said it spun around and started coming for him, so he stabbed it with his spear to try and scare it off, but it just went ballistic and bit him," he noted.
Sisinni said that he first realized his friend had been bitten by the 1.5-meter-long shark when Smith came splashing to the surface. Smith was treated by paramedics at Bannisters Point immediately after the attack, before being transported to Milton Ulladulla Hospital.
17yo Mollymook shark bite victim reportedly stabbed shark with spear to scare it off. http://t.co/jBXn8xJnUt #9News pic.twitter.com/O3y7NMtCP2
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) January 16, 2015
Authorities closed the nearest section of beach after the attack, though the 2015 Stramit NSW Country Surf Life Saving Championships were also being held at Mollymook at the time, according to 9 News. Despite the nearby attack, authorities asserted there was no need to cancel the event.
Though not normally dangerous to humans, wobbegong sharks are capable of delivering a quick and powerful attack, as the Inquisitr has previously reported. Police are investigating whether or not the shark was provoked before it struck out at Smith.
Spotted wobbegong http://t.co/sg3Rdrjar9 pic.twitter.com/zlVHnKH9Ov
— Amazing Animals (@endangeredbot) January 15, 2015
Aside from the wobbegong, other sharks have been sighted in the area around Mollymook recently. Sisinni related that he had spotted a bronze whaler shark, roughly the same size as the one that attacked his friend, while witness Mark Brayne had a closer run-in with an unknown shark last week.
"I didn't think anything of it at the time, but then I speared a fish and came back up and was in the process of loading my gun again and I felt something pull quite hard on my buoy line and I looked back in the water and I could just see this big splash, crazy splashing around," he recalled. "Then my gun and my buoy line just got ripped out of my hands and I watched them disappear."
Dolphin-eating sharks close Aussie beaches for 7th day http://t.co/M01HOhrdis pic.twitter.com/lX0vVmGftM
— Mashable (@mashable) January 16, 2015
The incident comes amid a week when other New South Wales beaches have been closed due to the presence of large sharks, and just a day after footage emerged of an unidentified shark, thought to be a tiger, attacking and killing a dolphin off Newcastle's Burwood beach.
[Image: Glenn Ellard/ Milton Ulladulla Times via 9 News]