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Ear to the Ground

Shark Swallows Then Rejects Diver

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Posted on Jan 23, 2007
Eric Nerhus
smh.com.au

A three-meter-long white pointer shark swallowed an Australian diver headfirst, up to his torso, only to discover that it couldn’t stand the taste. The dissatisfied shark then spat out Eric Nerhus, who experts believe was mistaken for a seal.


Sydney Morning Herald:

It seems Eric Nerhus, an abalone diver, did not impress the discerning palate of the three-metre white pointer shark that attacked him yesterday. The shark had Mr Nerhus’s head in its jaws, but marine experts say it chewed him then spat him out when it realised he was not a seal.

Mr Nerhus, 41, a black belt in karate who has been diving professionally for five years, was scouring reefs at Cape Howe, near Eden, with his son, Mark, 16, when the shark pounced about 9.30am.

In an instant the shark snapped its jaw around Mr Nerhus’s head with such force it crushed his face mask and broke his nose. He fought to break free but Mr Nerhus’s torso was then pulled into the shark’s mouth and it bit into the diver’s sides.

“He was actually bitten by the head down,” said a friend and fellow diver, Dennis Luobikis. “The shark swallowed his head.”

But the white pointer, probably weighing about 500 kilograms, would not have liked the taste, said an aquarist at Sydney Aquarium, Grant Willis.

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By dinkmeeker, January 27, 2007 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
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actually, he stabbed it in the eye which is why it let him go. They covered this in the news quite extensively here in australia. Most shark attacks are because we look too much like seals in our wetsuits, but th shark would have kept eating him after figuring out he wasnt seal meat anyway.

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By the burning question:, January 24, 2007 at 10:52 pm Link to this comment
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should Eric be offended?

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By ruben, January 24, 2007 at 10:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

He was pretty lucky to have tasted bad to the shark. If not, he would have been a goner.

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By MerguiDiving, January 23, 2007 at 11:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a close shave. Much releived to know that we taste bad to sharks.

Would like to see pictures if any available.
Sonny, Live-aboard operator, Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar side of Andaman.

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By saumendra swain, January 23, 2007 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its the Irony that the shark, which is refered to as a most specific shooter(it senses every water drop comming from its food) is been went off with an mistaken identity!!

By the way how is Mr Nerhus now? what is the current situation?

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By Polly Ester, January 23, 2007 at 5:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If this white pointer had swallowed Bush or Cheney he would have vomited—so you can’t even get rid of those two by feeding them to the sharks.

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