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Shark attack victim heard 'teeth on bone'

15 November 2013, 15:34

Sydney - The Australian bitten by a great white shark while diving on the south coast last month said on Friday he knew he was under attack because of a reprise of the sound of "teeth on bone".

Greg Pickering, aged 55, survived a similar mauling in 2004 and remembered what it sounded like.

"I heard the sound, the thrashing sound, of teeth on bone - and I remembered the sound from the last time I was bitten," Pickering told Seven Network television.

"I thought 'that's probably a shark' but I didn't see it. I heard the attack," he said in his first interview since his second painful shark encounter.

Pickering, a professional abalone diver, needed 10 hours of surgery to close gashes on his face and shoulders.

Australia's western half is reputed to be the world's deadliest place for shark attacks, with five fatalities in a 10-month period up to July 2012.

Pickering still had the presence of mind to ascend slowly through the bloodied waters rather than rush to the surface and so avoid potentially deadly decompression sickness.

He said he believed he had been given a second lease on life.

"It suddenly stopped and let me go," he said. "So I've definitely been given another chance."

Fellow professional divers pulled Pickering from the water at Cape Arid, 180km east of Esperance.

They bound his ragged face together with a towel held in place by duct tape and drove to where a helicopter could pick him up. It was 8 hours before he reached hospital.


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