'Derry Man' Survives Horrific Shark Attack

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Posted by on January 17, 2006 at 10:29:28:

In Reply to: shark attack: Diver tells of cheating death in Australia posted by on January 17, 2006 at 10:27:08:

A Derry woman's son mauled by a great white shark off the Australia west coast at the weekend has vowed to continue scuba diving. Brian "Bernie" Williams (52) - son of Anna Williams (nee McGinley), originally from the Abbey Street area of Derry - was yesterday recovering in a hospital in Perth with lacerations to his left arm which was bitten by the 11.5 foot shark on Sunday as he dived for lobsters with two friends off a city beach.
Mr. Williams - whose family emigrated from Derry to Australia more than 30 years ago - described how he wrenched his arm from the shark's mouth as it opened its jaws to take a second bite and escaped to a seabed crevice where he hid until his friends came to his rescue five minutes later with a fish-repelling electrical prod.
"I just felt like I'd been hit by a truck on the side ... and there was a very large shark head hanging off my arm, trying to chew it," Mr. Williams recalled. The 52-year-old electrician said the shark dragged him for a "bit of a ride" before trying to take a second bite.
The father-of-three said the shark lunged at him several times as he cowered on the seabed before his companions arrived with the prod. The shark then disappeared without the prod being used. Mr. Williams said the shark was the biggest he had seen in 20 years of diving but the attack would not deter him. "But I'll definitely be investing in a shark prod," Mr. Williams said. Nearby fishermen, brothersin-law Simon Rodwell and Alex Blain, came to Mr. Williams' aid after spotting what they described as a 3.5 metre white pointer. Mr. Williams said he was very grateful to the fishermen. It was only when he was out of the water that fear struck. "When I got on the boat I was shaking. I was scared out of my wits when I thought about it but at the time it was just a reaction."
Last night, Claire McGinley, one of Mr. Williams' 'Derry cousins' said they "were very relieved" to hear he had survived the horrific attack. "We were really shocked when we first heard," she said. "We couldn't believed what we were hearing. However, it came as a big relief when we discovered he was all right. He's very, very fortunate."
The attack came just over a week after a woman was killed by up to four sharks in shallow waters off an island near Australia's east coast. Three people have been killed by sharks in Western Australia state since 2000.

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