Shark attack was like "Jaws," says lifeguard survivor
( dpa ) - A popular New Zealand beach remained closed on Tuesday as two lifeguards told how a large bronze whaler shark attacked their inflatable boat, causing it to start to deflate.
"It was just like Jaws," Lauren Johnson, 19, told the Dominion Post. "It had 'kill' on its mind.
"I thought I was going to die - I thought my number was up," she told the New Zealand Herald.
Johnson and fellow surf lifesaver Kris O'Neill, 26, took the rescue boat out from Omaha Beach, north of Auckland, to confirm reports that a big shark was cruising about 100 metres offshore and chase it away.
But the shark, which was as long as their 3.8-metre boat, turned on the boat, repeatedly ramming it from below.
"Normally, you drive up to a shark and they take off pretty quickly - they don't like the boat at all," O'Neill told Radio New Zealand.
"But this one just cruised along beside the boat and I slowed the boat down a bit and the next thing it was smashing its head up underneath the boat and started chewing things up."
O'Neill said it was very aggressive and one of the boat's four air-filled pontoons deflated as it sank its teeth into the rubber, so they turned the boat around and headed for the shore.
He said that up to six sharks had been seen off the beach which remained closed to swimmers and surfers Tuesday morning pending further checks on the water.