Surfer punches shark to escape its jaws
CANBERRA: A novice surfer mastered a pro’s move on the first try: He punched a shark on the nose to escape its jaws.
The attack on Monday afternoon off the Australian coast left Charlie Fry with superficial puncture wounds on his right shoulder and upper arm.
A British doctor who arrived in Australia two months ago to work, Fry said yesterday he had recently watched a YouTube video in which Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning described his famous escape from a great white shark in 2015.
“So when it happened, I was like: ‘Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose’,” Fry said.
“So Mick, if you’re watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.”
Fry, a surfing beginner, was surfing with three doctor friends when he was attacked off Avoca Beach, 90km north of Sydney.
“I was out surfing and I got this massive thud on my right-hand side,” Fry said.
“I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.”
“So I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at my friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in,” he added.
Fry said he wasn’t conscious of his injured and bleeding arm until he reached the shore.
“I didn’t really notice it at the time because when you’re surfing, all I’m thinking was: ‘I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die’,” Fry said.
His friends drove him to Gosford Hospital, where they all worked, to be treated. The beach was closed for 24 hours.
I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.