Surfer Briton escapes Jaws attack with a punch on nose
A BRITISH doctor surfing in Australia fought off a shark with a punch on the nose after learning the escape technique from an online video clip.
Charlie Fry, 25, was at Avoca beach north of Sydney when the shark leapt out of the water and bit his arm.
He heard a “massive thud” and initially thought it was a friend playing around.
Dr Fry, who was based in Southampton before moving to Australia two months ago, said: “I turned to the right and I saw a shark’s head come out of the water with its teeth and I just punched it in the face. I got back on my board, shouted at my friends who were there and managed to catch a wave in, so it was a bit of a close call.”
He added: “I didn’t feel the teeth going in, it felt like I was smacked, it felt like a hand, a hand grabbing me, shaking me.
“I didn’t really notice it at the time, because when you’re surfing, all I was thinking was ‘I’m about to die’, and I was just thinking about getting in shore] as fast as possible.”
The novice surfer had remembered a YouTube clip of Australian surfer Mick Fanning, who famously punched a shark to survive an attack during a competition in South Africa in 2015.
He said: “Me and my friends have just started surfing and we [to saw the YouTube clip of Mick Fanning saying he punched a shark in the nose. So when it happened I was like, ‘Just do what Mick did’.”
He added: “If you are watching or listening, Mick, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.”
Dr Fry was treated for minor scratches and bite wounds by colleagues at Gosford Hospital, New South Wales on Monday. The beach at Avoca was closed after a 10ft bronze whaler shark was spotted near the site of the attack.
Dr Fry, who is originally from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, said he plans to return to surfing after the shark bite heals.
Bronze whaler shark like this was seen near Avoca beach
Dr Charlie Fry shows shark bite injuries on his arm