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‘Spooked’ marine park shark leaves tourist bleeding

17_15
17_15
Written by editor

A “nudge” by a scared shark has left a British tourist with slight injuries while diving at a marine park on Sydney’s northern beaches.

A “nudge” by a scared shark has left a British tourist with slight injuries while diving at a marine park on Sydney’s northern beaches.

The man was grazed on the top of the head after an open-mouthed grey nurse shark lurched towards him after it was frightened by a power surge at Oceanworld, Manly about 5.15pm today.

“The lights turned off due to the power surge which spooked the shark before it grazed one of the divers in there on the head,” Chief Executive of Sydney Attractions Group Kevin Bush said.

“It turned and scratched him with a tooth.

“It did draw blood.”

Mr Bush said the man’s head was bleeding but did not require stitches.

A NSW Ambulance Service spokeswoman said the man was conscious and breathing when ambulance officers arrived.

“They sustained minor injuries only and did not require transport to hospital.”

Mr Bush said the dive was discontinued after the incident but the tourist indicated he wanted to return to complete his “extreme dive”.

All five paying divers in the group had been offered a free dive, he said.

Oceanworld Manly has a tank, known as Shark Dive Extreme, where visitors dive for 30 minutes with Grey Nurses, some of the largest sharks in captivity in Australia.

Mr Bush said Grey nurse sharks were one of the most docile and non-threatening species in the world.

“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for you and your friends to dive with two sharks,” Oceanworld promotional material says.

Certified divers can also undertake a shark awareness program.

Divers pay between $185 and $250 to take part in a 30 minute oceanarium dive with the sharks.

Oceanworld, which is run by Sydney Attractions Group, also offers an activity called “Shark Feed Extreme” at Manly facility.

The sharks dine at least three times a week on fresh salmon and kingfish.

An estimated 3,000 people come to dive with sharks at the oceanarium each year.