Expert believes Norwegian tourist attacked by a bull shark

A fisheries expert believes that the Norwegian tourist was attacked by a bull shark (Carcharhinus Leucas), a shark which can be found in warm and shallow water, in the sea of Hua Hin, Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Watchara Sakornwimon, a veterinarian of the Marine and Coastal Resources Research and Development Centre, said Tuesday (April 17) that she had made inquiries with a shark expert from the Fisheries Department, Mr Tossaphol Krachangdara, who said he believed the tourist was bitten by a bull shark which is fierce when it is hungry or during breeding season.

According to Mr Tossaphol, bull shark often hunts for food in shallow water near beaches in the evening until nighttime which matched with the victim's claim that he was bitten by a fish suspected to be a shark at about 4 pm. The wounds on the victim's leg resembled two rows of the teeth of the bull shark.

The bite was not meant to eat its food but to test whether the object bitten was edible or not and, hence, the shark just gave up and didn't continue attacking the victim, Ms Watchara quoted Mr Tossapol as saying.

The shark expert also suggested that signs be put up on the beaches to warn swimmers and a net barricade be put up in the water to prevent possible future shark attacks.

Prachuap Khiri Khan deputy governor Chotenarin Kerdsom on Tuesday led officials concerned to visit the victim at the hospital. The team also visited the spot where the tourist was attacked which is close to Wat Tham Khao Tao.

The victim's condition is said to be improving.

The deputy governor said that authorities concerned would mete out six preventive measures for public safety against possible shark attacks in the future.

The measures include: Warning signs in Thai and English to be put up on the beaches; deployment of officials on beaches to watch out and to provide help to tourists; swimmers should avoid swimming in murky water; swimmers should refrain from wearing bright-coloured swimsuits such as yellow and orange; swimming in groups; and avoid swimming in deep water which will make rescue effort difficult.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)