01 October 2008

Man Punches Shark to Save Dog

A man has saved his pet dog from a shark attack by jumping into the water and punching the fish in the neck. Greg LeNoir and his rat terrier, Jake, were swimming at a Florida Keys marina when the attack happened.

The 53-year-old carpenter said: "I saw a big, dark green shape, which I realised was a big shark's head. It zoomed up from under Jake. Jake screamed - a death scream - and it sucked him under. I dove straight down like a battering ram, and I drove my fist under the water into the shark. And it pushed him down - it felt like concrete on my hand."

The shark's teeth punctured Jake's skin and some muscle on the dog's abdomen, chest and back. Jake also suffered lacerations on his right side and front left leg. The incident happened on Friday afternoon when Mr LeNoir took Jake to the Worldwide Sportsman's Bayside Marina pier in Islamorada, Florida for the dog's daily swim.

Mr LeNoir said he was terrified when he saw the shark, but his only thought was saving Jake, who he described as a fast and fearless swimmer, often retrieving jellyfish and coconuts.

"Jake is such a big part of mine and my wife's life - we don't have children," he said. "This is what she considers the closest thing to a child. And I couldn't abandon him."

Mr LeNoir's brother, Phillip, told the Miami Herald: "Jake's doing great. And I still can't believe my brother jumped in the water and punched a shark."

[Source: Belfast Telegraph]