Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Thursday, 15 October 2009 13:07 UK

Man survives Australia shark bite

Matt Bowen's shark bite wound
Mr Bowen needed surgery and physiotherapy to help him walk again

A Cheshire man has described the moment he was bitten by a shark while diving off the west coast of Australia as a "horror story".

Matt Bowen, 23, from Warrington, survived the attack when the 10ft (3m) Bull shark sank its teeth into his leg.

The gas fitter, who was in Australia as part of a round-the-world trip, was taken to hospital in Albany before being moved to Perth for surgery.

He has a permanent scar and needed six weeks of physiotherapy to walk again.

Mr Bowen told BBC News: "I just could not believe it, it was kind of like one of those horror stories.

"I turned around and it was there, I panicked, then adrenaline kicked in and I kicked like crazy."

Bull sharks are known for their aggressive behaviour
A bull shark measures between 7 ft and 11.5 ft (2.1 to 3.4 m)
They can weigh up to 230kg

He managed to get free from the shark's jaws by kicking it and swimming with a fellow diver to the surface to call for help.

Bull sharks, described as unpredictable and aggressive, are said to be one of the top four most dangerous species of shark in the world.

Mr Bowen, who decided to stay in Australia and continue his travels, said the attack had not deterred him from going diving in the future.

"Diving has been the best thing I have done since I've been travelling, I know it is random, the attack, so it won't put me off, " he added.

He initially though the bite was his friend playing a prank until he saw the shark.

"I kind of felt the bite, then it chomped on me, and shook me a little bit.

"It was the initial bite and after that it just went numb."

Print Sponsor

Australia father 'taken by shark'
27 Dec 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian unfazed by shark bite
21 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Australia
22 Feb 12 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific