“A Shark bite is only one of many possible endings to a Shark Attack”
“An UNPROVOKED Shark Attack is only one of many types of Shark Attack”

When you see the words Unprovoked or Bite associated with Shark Attacks, someone is trying to hide shark dangers you may face should you enter the water. In most cases, the word unprovoked equals the number of incidents shared with the public. Any other type of Shark Attack is kept a secret from the public.

02/27/2003 - Alistair Kerr - New Zealand

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2003
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02/27/2003 - Alistair Kerr - New Zealand

Post by alb »

February 27, 2003
Foveaux Strait
Alistair Kerr

Alistair Kerr happened to look down just as the white pointer surged upwards towards him, mouth open and teeth bared.

"I never, ever look down in the water, but something told me to look down and there it was, coming straight up at me with its mouth open. That's what's stayed with me.

"Then I felt it grab my catch-bag and got my left arm, it just sort of latched on and lifted me out of the water. The guys on the boat could see that. It felt like it took such a long time ..."

Mr Kerr's friends fended off the 2.5m shark with sticks. When it let go, they pulled Mr Kerr to safety.

The attack happened off Stewart Island.

"We were just looking for somewhere to dive ... we found out later it was the breeding ground for the great white."

Mr Kerr, 54, said there was "a lot of luck around that day".

He has the catch-bag mounted on a wall at home. The shark severed all the tendons in his left hand leaving him limited movement in that arm which is deeply scarred from 60 stitches.

For months he was haunted by the experience. He wanted to get back into diving as soon as he could to "get back on the horse".

"You get worried you'll get munched every time you go back in.

"A few months afterwards, I came across a sandshark, just a normal one about a metre long, and I just really freaked out. I went up and broke down and cried like a baby."

About 10 weeks after the attack, he went to Adelaide to watch great whites - from the safety of a cage.

"And that helped. Then a few years later I went on another dive and came across lots and lots of sharks and that made me feel more comfortable. So you can get past it, but it takes a bit of effort."

A simple explanation of the word unprovoked is chosen to be shared. Each year shark attack researchers choose certain shark attacks they share with the public. The ISAF website states, “All of the data publically available on the ISAF website is from unprovoked incidents.” Ocean users, beware that the ISAF has 6800 incidents on file, with only 3292, or 47%, being chosen to be shared with the public. In 2019 they chose 45%, and in 2020 they only chose 44% of the investigated incidents.
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