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James Grant was spearfishing with friends off the southern coast of New Zealand on Saturday when he felt the shark bite his leg through his wetsuit, according to reports. (iStockphoto)
James Grant was spearfishing with friends off the southern coast of New Zealand on Saturday when he felt the shark bite his leg through his wetsuit, according to reports. (iStockphoto)

Doctor fights off shark, stitches own wounds then heads for a beer Add to ...

A New Zealand doctor has fought off a shark with a knife before swimming ashore, stitching up his own wounds and then heading for a beer, according to reports Tuesday.

Dr. James Grant, 24, was spearfishing with friends off the southern coast of New Zealand on Saturday when he felt the shark bite his leg through his wetsuit, ABC News reports.

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Initially he thought it was a friend playing a joke.

“I thought it was one of the boys who had come and grabbed my leg,” he told Radio New Zealand.

When he realized it was a shark he says he recounts that he thought “bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg.”

“I’d just shot this fish, so I had my spear dagger out just trying to dispatch the flapping fish, because that’s what you don’t want – the flapping, bloody fish that attracted this shark in the first place.

“I was just trying to knock that off, and that’s when all this started happening. So it was quite a convenient time actually; I had a knife in my hand so I gave it a good few jabs to try get it off.”

Dr. Grant was swimming in murky water at the time of the attack and said he did not get a good look at the animal, but the nature of the wounds suggest it was a sevengill shark and about 20 centimetres across at the jaw.

“I was swimming away. I got to have a little bit of a look at the wetsuit, saw there was a hole in it and I could see a bit of blood leaking out from it, but it wasn’t until I’d taken the wetsuit off from the shore that I saw all the lacerations,” he said.

Upon making it to the shore, Dr. Grant used a first aid kit he kept in his car to stitch up his wound.

“I sort of tacked it together with a couple of stitches. I think it must have been adrenalin at the time because it wasn’t too bad putting them in – but I wouldn’t usually do that,” he said.

He and his friends abandoned the spearfishing trip and headed to the nearby Colac Bay Tavern where bar tender Warren Bevin gave the men a beer and Dr. Grant a bandage.

“Yeah, a few [beers] and that was the best anesthetic you can get,” Mr. Bevin said.

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