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SURF ACE INSPIRES TV HOST.

Byline: By KATIE JONES South Wales Echo

Cardiff-born Blue Peter presenter Gethin Jones has been learning to surf with a teenage shark attack victim for the hit children's series. Bethany Hamilton, from Hawaii, lost her left arm when she was attacked by a 14ft tiger shark in October 2003 when she was just 13 years old.

Now 15, the brave teenager has released a book, Soul Surfer, the story of her battle to get back on her surfboard.

And this week she took to the waves in Watergate Bay, near Newquay, Cornwall, to teach Gethin 26, who lives in Caernarfon, to surf for a future Blue Peter episode.

Gethin, who became the second Welshman to host Blue Peter in January, certainly impressed surf star Bethany.

'Gethin did really well for his first day and we were all really impressed,' said Bethany, who is in Britain for three days to promote her book.

'I think it's the coldest sea I've ever surfed in. It was a fun experience.

'I wrote the book to share my faith and my story, to inspire others never to give up and to follow their dreams.'

Bethany, from Princeville on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, took part in her first surf competition at the age of 11.

But her dream of becoming a professional surfer was interrupted on the morning of October 31, 2003.

She was surfing near Tunnels Beach on Kauai when she was attacked by the tiger shark, which ripped off her left arm below the shoulder.

Bethany survived the attack and has continued surfing, winning three contests and coming fifth in last year's American national surf championships.

A film about the teenage surf sensation's life, also entitled Soul Surfer, will start production in January.

And although Bethany will not play herself in the movie, she will perform the surfing stunts.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 7, 2005
Words:307
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