Page last updated at 15:57 GMT, Tuesday, 2 September 2008 16:57 UK

Hooked shark bites angler's arm

Steve Perkins
Steve Perkins will be unable to work for at least six weeks

An amateur angler has told how he was bitten by a blue shark he was holding after catching it near Lundy Island, off the north coast of Devon.

Steve Perkins, 52, from Penarth, Vale of Glamorgan, was lifting up the shark for a photo, when it wrapped its jaw around his wrist.

Mr Perkins was flown to hospital and had reconstructive surgery to repair the "crush and rip" damage to his arm.

He said next time he would remember to pick the shark up by "the blunt end".

The angler said: "We don't harm the sharks when we hook them, we just take a picture and put them back in the water.

"The one I got was pretty lively and having put its jaw around my wrist it then let go.

I've had a few scrapes in the past but this is the first time I've been bitten by a mini version of Jaws
Steve Perkins

"The scariest bit to be honest was going up in the helicopter.

"It won't put me off fishing again, next time I will remember to pick the shark up by the blunt end."

Mr Perkins was initially taken to North Devon District Hospital after the incident on Saturday.

He was transferred to the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for surgery to repair what the hospital called "crush and rip" damage to his forearm.

The severed arteries had to be pinned back together, a nerve was re-attached and tendons were repaired during the three-hour operation.

Mr Perkins right arm is a cast which means he will not be able to return to his job as a carpenter for at least six weeks.

Blue shark caught by Steve Perkins
The angler holding the shark moments before he was bitten

He is due to see a plastic surgeon later this week to discuss skin grafts over the injury.

Mr Perkins, who is married with daughters Kate, 24, and Lucy, 21, was fishing on his friends 24ft fishing boat when he was bitten.

He said: "This won't put me off - I've had a few scrapes in the past but this is the first time I've been bitten by a mini version of Jaws."

Richard Pierce, from the Shark Trust said this was not a shark "attack".

"When you've stuck a hook in something's mouth and dragged it through the water and put it on a boat, you've basically attacked the shark.

"If the shark accidentally bites you it's hardly its fault."

Blue sharks are a seasonal visitor to British waters and can grow up to 8ft (2.5m) long.




SEE ALSO
Fast fall of Mediterranean sharks
10 Jun 08 |  Science/Nature
Sharks swim closer to extinction
22 May 08 |  Science/Nature

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UPI Shark bites U.K. man during picture pose - 11 hrs ago
North Devon Gazette Shark bites back - 39 hrs ago
Telegraph Fisherman bitten by blue shark has re-constructive surgery - 39 hrs ago
Bristol Evening Post BREAKING NEWS: Shark attack off coast - 41 hrs ago
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