From Yahoo! (Reuters Report):

Man Punches Great White Shark And Lives

Friday, January 15, 1999 8:19 ET

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - A South African paddle skier attacked by a four meter-long man-eating Great White Shark punched it on the snout to escape, the Citizen newspaper reported Thursday. ''As the shark attacked I instinctively hit it in the mouth with my right hand. The shark then sank its teeth into the side of my ski...I actually felt its nose touch my leg,'' Evan Ridge told the newspaper.

He was 50 meters (yards) off Bonza Beach in Eastern Cape province when attacked. Willie Maritz, curator of the East London aquarium, examined the 42 cm (16 inch) bite in the flimsy, surfboard-like paddle ski and declared it that of a Great White. ''Ridge is extremely lucky to have survived. It is unusual for a Great White to be in our waters at this time of year. However, there have been a lot of dolphins around which could explain the presence of the fish,'' Maritz told the newspaper.

Great Whites, the most feared man-eaters in the ocean, inhabit South Africa's colder waters around the Cape. One ate a spear fisherman last year snorkeling near Cape Town.

Sharks are common off South Africa's coastline and a few attacks are reported every year. The use of barrier nets on the most popular beaches has helped keep incidents to a minimum.

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