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Man fights off shark with a spear to save woman

Year 1932

Read by Karen Phillips – Supporter, Royal Humane Society

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Ifereimi Raqoneqone, Macuata Coast, Fiji.

On the morning of the 11th April, 1932, four Fijians, three men and one woman, named Sulueti Ganake, were diving for sici shell on the Macuata Coast, when the woman was attacked by a shark while swimming in deep water.

On hearing her cry for help Ifereimi, who was some 20 yards distant, at once swam to her, and diving down saw, with the aid of his submarine glasses, that a shark had attacked her and was pulling her down, so seizing her arm he pulled her up, and in the struggle her leg was lacerated. Reaching the surface he then swam, supporting the woman and repeatedly fighting off the shark with his spear, until he reached shallow water and got her into the dinghy which had now been brought up by the other men, and into which she was placed, having fainted, having been bitten on the thigh and calf of the leg.

Later she was attended by a Native Medical Practitioner and spent a month in the hospital at Labasa, where she made a complete recovery.

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