Jersey

Polar bear attack survivor says it was 'like a dream'

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Media captionPatrick Flinders: "The bear kept biting my head"

The 16-year-old boy who survived a polar bear attack in Norway said he remembered waking up in hospital thinking it was "all a dream".

Patrick Flinders was on Spitsbergen island in Norway with the British Schools Exploring Society when the bear attacked on 5 August.

He said he remembered everything about the attack, including what he did and hearing people screaming.

Patrick said his injuries were getting better but his eyes still hurt.

He told Victoria Derbyshire on BBC Radio 5 Live: "I've got bite marks on my arm, my ear had to be sown back on, I got a scratch mark on my eye, bite marks on my head and scratches on my chin.

"There are staples in the top of my head and the back of my head, and stitch in my eye, my ear, staples in my arm and stitches in my arm."

Patrick said being back in Jersey with his family and friends was helping him recover.

Image caption Horatio Chapple died after being mauled by the bear which attacked the tent his was sharing with Patrick

Eton pupil Horatio Chapple, 17, died after being mauled by the bear.

Patrick described him as "well organised, funny, just a nice person to be with."

Patrick said he remembered the sound of scratching on the tent.

"We thought it was people messing about so we were going to go back to sleep then it just ripped through the tent, it came collapsing down. We were screaming to warn everyone," he said.

"[The polar bear] went off I don't know where, it came back, scratched me, bit my head and while it was biting my head I was punching it to try and get it off me.

"I heard Scott run and the bear dropped me then I heard the gun shot."

Terry Flinders, Patrick's father, said a Doctor in Norway called and said he had Patrick on the line.

He said Patrick's first words were: "Polar bear, polar bear, polar bear, my eye, come and get me dad, polar bear."

Terry Flinders went on to say: "A lot of people were getting upset and crying, I thought I've got to be strong now even though inside it was ripping me apart."

He said he did not think there would be any long-term physical damage but that Patrick would be kept under observation.

Patrick said: "Sometimes I think about it, sometimes I see what's happened and when I'm on my own I remember what's happening.

"I want to move on, I don't want to remember it really because it was a horrible experience."

He added that the experience had not put him off wanting to go on other expeditions.

"I won't go to the Arctic again, I don't mind going somewhere different like the Amazon or the Himalayas, I don't mind doing that but not the Arctic," he said.

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