|The tooth marks of the shark in the swimmer's arm. Image published on Twitter by the victim: @ojedathies|
A 38-year-old doctor from Madrid on holidays with family on Gran Canaria had an unpleasant Christmas surprise when she was bitten in her lower arm by a shark while swimming only 20 yards out from a cliff near the beach at Arinaga, just south of the island's airport on Christmas Day.
|Arinaga, Gran Canaria|
The experienced hobby diver is a fellow of the European Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and appeared unruffled by the ordeal. She smilingly declared that after hitting the shark hard with the arm that was not in the predator's mouth, ''the beast'' finally let go. The shark then vanished into the depths of the sea. The victim also stated that afterwards she was disappointed that it didn't return so she could have had a better look at the animal which she described as large and about 1,7 metres long. Immediately after the attack she attended the local health centre where she received a number of stitches in her arm and a course of antibiotics. She also said she was lucky that no tendons were severed.
Meanwhile biologists and other experts have issued statements that shark attacks in the waters around the Canary Islands are extremely rare and at most occur of once every 50 years and that Arinaga remains ''one of the best locations for swimming and diving''. From the victim's description and the corresponding bite marks the scientists conclude that the animal in question was probably a Silky shark (Carcharhinus Falciformis), one of the most abundant sharks in the seas between 40ºN-40ºS and highly migratory.
In Novermber 2013 a fisherman was bitten by a shark 22 miles off the coast of La Gomera after he had accidentally caught the animal.