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Last Updated: Monday October 15 2007 13:17 GMT

Woman fights back in shark attack

A great white shark

A woman has had an amazing escape from a man-eating great white shark after it attacked her as she was kayaking off the east coast of Australia.

Linda Whitehurst, 52, was paddling near Byron Bay, in New South Wales, when the massive two-and-a-half-metre-long shark knocked her out of her kayak.

Linda said she thought it was going to eat her leg, but she fought it off with her oar and clambered back on board.

Amazingly, she made it back to shore with just a few cuts to her arms.

Linda said: "I had my blade (oar) in my hands so I punched at it with my blade.

Linda Whitehurst
Linda escaped with just a small cut to her arm
"That was the only way I was going to survive. I just kept punching, punching, punching at the shark until it swam away."

Shark attacks are not uncommon in Australia, but this is the second one in just three days.

On Saturday, a man was bitten on the leg by a bronze whaler shark while spear-fishing in remote waters off Cairns in north Queensland.

There are about five to 10 shark attacks on humans in Australia every year.

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