Sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus
Broadnose sevengill shark (Notorynchus cepedianus) (José María Pérez Nuñez/Wikimedia)

Doctor Fights Off Shark with Knife

Stitches up bite wounds and grabs a beer

Sevengill shark Notorynchus cepedianus

James Grant, a 24-year-old doctor from New Zealand, was spearfishing off the country’s South Island on Saturday. In about six feet of murky water, he felt a tug on his foot. He thought it was a friend playing a prank, but it was a sevengill shark having a taste.

“[I thought] bugger, now I have to try and get this thing off my leg,” Grant told the Sydney Morning Herald. With his diving knife already in hand, he stabbed at the shark. “I am not sure how effective it was. I guess it let go, so something must have happened. [I] put a few nicks in it.”

Grant then swam to shore and saw several bite wounds in his leg. Using a first-aid kit from his vehicle, the young doctor administered his own stitches with a needle and thread. Before heading to the hospital, he and his friends went to the Colac Bay Tavern, where Grant was given a beer—and a few bandages, because blood was dripping on the floor.

“I am pretty grateful to have my leg still,” he told “When the stitches come out, I will be back in the water.”

From Outside Magazine, April/May 2021
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Lead Photo: José María Pérez Nuñez/Wikimedia