SYDNEY • An Australian teenager survived an encounter with a great white shark, with her harrowing screams alerting her father who was sure it was about to "eat her".
Sarah Williams, 15, was fishing for squid from a kayak off the South Australian coast near Normanville on Sunday when the shark struck.
Her father, Mr Chris Williams, in a dingy nearby with his son and another daughter, said Sarah was thrown in the air and landed in the water.
"This shark had just rolled and all I saw was the dark side and the white belly and just huge fins and just white water everywhere," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation yesterday.
"It was going to eat her."
He said the animal circled and hit the kayak several times as he rushed to his daughter's aid, with son Mitchell dragging her from the water, over the shark and into their boat. "That spine-tingling scream, that not only me but my son and eldest daughter heard, is something that you just can't describe it," Mr Williams told the Nine Network as he fought back tears.
The shark, suspected to be a great white and estimated to be 4.5m, the same length as the kayak, stalked their motor boat for about 10 minutes as they headed for safety.
Sarah, who escaped with minor cuts and bruises, said the ordeal was "everything you picture in the Jaws movie".
Police said the Sea Rescue Squadron was patrolling the area, around 75km south of Adelaide.
The scare came just days after a British diver survived intact after being forced to swim 8km back to shore shadowed by a large tiger shark after becoming separated from his boat in Western Australia.
Mr John Craig, 34, told reporters on Sunday: "I thought this was it, this is how I'm going to die.
"(The shark) kept coming back... It would circle me and kind of dart in and I just had to use my spear gun to try and fend it off and try and keep it at a safe distance. I knew the boat wasn't coming back, so my only option was to swim to shore."
There have been over a dozen incidents with sharks off Australia's vast coastline this year, including the death of a 17-year-old girl mauled in full view of her parents in Western Australia. Experts say attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and baitfish move closer to shore, but fatalities remain rare.