Posted by on March 25, 2005 at 08:30:31:
A holidaymaker from Cumbria has narrowly escaped being eaten alive by a shark while on a trip to South Africa.
Mark Currie, 32, from Barrow-in-Furness, was inside a metal viewing cage in the water when the 18ft Great White suddenly attacked the cage.
As the shark began tearing at the cage, Mr Currie managed to scramble on board the tour boat while the captain beat the shark on the head.
The expedition took place off the port of Hermanus, near Cape Town.
Mr Currie said: "We had about four sharks around us, two or three metres long, but from nowhere a big five-metre Great White came.
"I was in the boat so I got down in the cage to get a closer look. It circled the cage twice and then attacked.
"It grabbed the side of the cage, bit one of the buoys and popped it, then the cage sank and tilted and began going under the water."
Mr Currie said he thought he would be safe inside the cage but the shark's weight began pulling the cage down as it bit through the metal.
He climbed on top of the cage and jumped into the boat, helped by the captain.
Mr Currie said: "The captain had a big metal pole and was hitting it on the head and trying to push it off, but it was just making it worse.
"The captain has been running trips for five years and said it was the biggest shark he had seen in that area and the first time one had attacked.
"But two weeks previously there was a woman killed by a Great White in South Africa so it was possibly the same shark."
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