HONOLULU, March 24 (UPI) -- A Canadian college teacher with a shark phobia survived a shark bite while surfing in Hawaii.
Elizabeth Dunn of Vancouver was about 400 feet off Oahu's north shore Thursday when she felt something bumping her board and then biting down on her leg, the Honolulu Advertiser reported. She said she was so terrified when she saw a 2-foot fin that she could not put her hands in the water to paddle and instead began screaming for help.
"I was totally terrified and there was nothing I could do," Dunn said. "It was my worst fear and it's so bizarre to have your worst fear suddenly come true."
Two local surfers towed her in and cleaned the wound, and her boyfriend, Chris Smith, then drove her to a hospital.
John Naughton, a biologist with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said surfing when the water is murky -- as it has been after recent heavy rains in Hawaii -- is a bad idea, especially when floods are likely to have swept a lot of shark food out to sea.
"There's a lot of dead animals in there. Cats, dogs, rats, all kinds," he said. "I can guarantee you've got tiger sharks and they're feeding."