Shark Stories

yorkessurfer's picture
yorkessurfer started the topic in Monday, 29 Oct 2012 at 12:11am

A few interesting stories on shark attacks and near misses on the Shark Shield report so I thought I would start this thread. Don't want to trivialize the subject as people have had their lives taken or changed forever by what can happen. I thought it might serve as an educational purpose by hearing others experiences so we may all learn from them and hopefully avoid it happening to us.

One of them was a mate of mine named Hazey.
He had been surfing at Castles, a notoriously sharky wave in the bay at Cactus.
Several hundred metres offshore the wave breaks before reforming into Inside Castles making a long left with several sections. The wave has been the scene of several attacks and near misses over the years including the local known as "Sharkbait" who had been attacked more than once.
Gerry Lopez is another who came very close to being attacked out there and vowed to never surf Cactus again after his near miss.
Well Hazey was surfing out the back with another bloke named Steve when out of the blue he was launched into the air still on his board by a huge force from below.
A shark had rammed him with a direct hit straight up into the air! In a moment it was gone but soon returned to the stunned Hazey and started biting him and his board. Hazey instinctively put his arms out to protect himself but both his arms ended up in its mouth. As the jaws closed down his arms could have easily been severed, but several teeth on the sharks lower jaw had become dislodged and imbedded in the board leaving his upper arms with massive injuries, but the vital inner arms where major arteries run were not majorly damaged. This probably saved his life.
By this time Steve had reacted and in a rush of adrenalin and pure ballsy courage he threw himself onto the sharks back and started gouging at the sharks eyeballs, eventually feeling one pop and the shark departed.
Steve got the two surfboards together and got himself and Hazey on and started the long paddle to shore.
Then they were both thrown into the air as the shark rammed them a third time before disappearing again. They continued to make their way closer to shore and the shark nudged them again. Steve told me he thought he really must of pissed it off when he popped its eye.
Finally they we're just a metre from shore when the shark made its fifth and final appearance. It beelined towards them and the shore while they stood in waist deep water with their boards. The sharks mouth was just rapidly opening and closing like one of those wind up sets of false teeth. The boys separated and put their hands on either side of it's body and held it on a 90 degree angle to the beach as they made the final steps to the safety of the sand.
Hazey was rushed to Ceduna hospital and then flown to Adelaide for micro surgery on his shredded arms.
Steve ended up receiving a bravery award and they both sold their story to 60 minutes and made $50,000 each out of it!
It was quite a story!

Cowabunga's picture
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Cowabunga commented Saturday, 5 Sep 2020 at 2:52pm

Udo no I haven't I'll give the keywords a search and check them out

Daz

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crg commented Saturday, 5 Sep 2020 at 7:03pm

Dead whale remains washed up on Oxley Beach, Port Mac on Friday. Same morning around the corner a few beaches Matt Banting and one other local chased out of the water by a 6-8 footer in 1-2ft waves in shallow water.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Sunday, 6 Sep 2020 at 8:27am

Since the lady was attacked at Shelly Beach there has been almost daily reports of surfers or spear fishers having encounters with Great Whites between Crescent Head and Port Macquarie. If it wasn’t for the nor’easter and crap surf in the last few days probably would have been more.

State Gov recently announced its new Shark Strategy which is basically spending millions on drones which will be of minor benefit to surfers as most spots won’t be patrolled. Rather than just watching I can’t see why they can’t be more proactive and get the shark boat down from Ballina and deploy the shark smart drum lines at a spot where there is an obvious concentration of Great Whites before someone else is bitten.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Sunday, 6 Sep 2020 at 8:50am

Port is an obvious spot to run a smart drum line program.

It's crazy how many juveniles and sub-adults are getting caught between Evans and Lennox at the moment.

I honestly believe without that smart drumline program there would be a lot more attacks in this area this winter and I think the evidence backs that position up.

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 5:35pm

Reports some poor guy was seriously injured in a shark attack at Greenmount not long ago! I’m sure we’ll hear more about it shortly......

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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 6:01pm

Shit he died. Sad news.....

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 6:03pm

Far out. Another one

donweather's picture
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donweather commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 6:06pm

Isn't that the first shark fatality at netted GC beaches?

yorkessurfer's picture
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yorkessurfer commented Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 6:08pm
Pops's picture
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Pops commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 1:45pm

He who hesitates is lost

goofyfoot's picture
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goofyfoot commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 1:58pm

How’s the size of this thing from
Pops article!

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 2:12pm

How are the fellas in the boat when it chomps the propeller!

stunet's picture
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stunet commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 2:12pm

Lots of footage on IG right now:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meet a megalodon today . It was bigger then our 5 metre Haines hunter .

A post shared by dane woods (@daiiwoo) on

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 2:30pm

thicc

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Pops commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 2:52pm

Straight outta Jaws, hey!

He who hesitates is lost

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 4:13pm

sub.

fitzroy-21's picture
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fitzroy-21 commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 7:26pm

Hahaha, When I first read that FR, I thought you were calling it a "sub"-adult. I was like WTF.

freeride76's picture
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freeride76 commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 9:23pm

underwater kombi

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Friday, 11 Sep 2020 at 10:05pm

FR, FrazP and Distracted were talking about modifying behaviour in response to the increased shark activity in the thread "Man dies after shark attack at Greenmount" - I figure this is probably a better thread to put a response in.

They mention George Greenough modifying where he surfs, and yes, I reckon there were parallels to what we went through in WA in the 90's/2000s on. The canaries in the coal mines were the drive bys that you would hear about in the 90s, and then one happened to me when out alone so I thought, yeah there's some substance to this. In 2000 the attacks began, and continued. By about 2004 I was becoming more picky about where/when I surfed, sacrificing size or quality for beachies where I could see a long way out, compared to some of those magic reefs where you look down and the water/reef is black... I'd also modify behaviour and just go swim at the pool when September rolled around, as the snapper run began and the GWS sightings would go through the roof. If I was there today, maybe it has changed/shifted again, though when I've been back in around May, I've felt pretty safe just enjoying the breaks I loved as a grom. A couple of spots have still felt sketchy though!

This paper was mentioned too, and is excellent:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-66876-z.pdf

You might note Figure 3 with the 'heat map' of tagged sharks, and there's a lessening of the concentration of daily average positions in western Bass Strait, and this could contribute a little to why it's felt a bit safer here in the last 10 years (then again, study didn't do daily average positions of the Western GWS population!). Around here, I've had a couple of interactions, one with a curious 2m GWS. There are sightings, the fellow at the good reef near Lorne having one have a go at him, it feels very '90s redux' to me. Hope I'm wrong on that account and they largely keep to themselves here.

Distracted's picture
Distracted's picture
Distracted commented Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 2:11pm

VJ, nice thinking.
I’ve been thinking about how to lessen the shark risk while still surfing. But it’s not so easy. Some of the ones mentioned include:

Don’t surf while birds are diving. That’s obvious when there are mullet or salmon in the water, but try and find a spot on the east coast in autumn when there are no birds working.

I like TBBs theory that sharks feed on beaches on the outgoing tide. But not being able to surf on a dropping tide can block out a big chunk of day.
Not surfing river mouth when there’s a fresh and bull sharks are on the prowl. No worries .

Surf in groups.... I hate surfing in a crowd!

Don’t surf from August to October when the Nature article shows highest numbers of GWS on the east coast... not so easy.

The main issue is that some of these attacks have been in small surf, clear water on a sunny day. When else do you take your kids out??

Eye stickers or stripes on the bottom of the board? Be nice if it works.

I like the article by Sean Doherty, I reckon NSW DPI have to be more proactive. Lots of drones is not an effective strategy.

Nick Bone's picture
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Nick Bone commented Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 4:16pm

Just read the post above and is it more common for a attack on clear, sunny days?

I paddled out first light today and with the thick rain clouds, the greyness was dense and took a while to subside. Never have concerns about sharks down here (Morn Peninsula) but I couldn’t help get in my head a bit.

But, should I statistically be much more concerned on fairer weather days?

I am the bone

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dandandan commented Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 4:24pm

Worth a read if this hasn't been shared before - Greenough talking about his 6 most memorable shark encounters around Byron, with a good analysis of the conditions and how to best handle them. Since reading it years ago I've always made sure to face into the sun if it feels sharky as he believes that's where they prefer to attack from.

https://www.surfersjournal.com/editorial/the-archivist-george-greenoughs...

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 7:13pm

Hey Distracted & crew, I think those are some pretty good ideas for east coast surfing at present - weighing up the risk vs not surfing as well. I agree, TBB has absolutely illuminated feeding patterns with his concept of the tides being used to corral pray, then harvest it. Seems logical.

Nick - the clear water comment is really interesting, maybe my adaption in WA was a false security. I guess if I can see, they can too. If you look at footage of the one coming at the guy at Esperance (incredible clear water) - the clear water doesn't seem to deter them. I guess it gives us a bit of a heads up? Water locally is not clear, it doesn't go clear until you get into the national park between Aireys and Lorne (that's where we've seen our biggest GWS).

Rivermouths I'd agree with, that's where I've seen Tigers when surfing Sunny coast. On dusk too, getting my idiot points. Mum was cane farmers daughter (think: roughly where they will put in the wave pool) and she'd see tiger sharks swimming up river past where the family farm backed onto the Maroochy, where they swam!

Distracted, birds and baitfish, yep, when we go up the MNC in NSW it's thick with them. Dolphins too. Even flying fish which was spun out. So the ocean feels alive up there. Places like Exmouth I've seen this too, really big thick bait balls. One further thing, if you see all the seals/dolphins swimming very close together and looking nervous, there's probably a reason why. I've seen that in the Boneyards to Rocky stretch in WA (was getting more idiot points and paddled out and sat further out than everyone else cos I wanted a bomb, too.) Velocitybro, who is aquaculture grad/fisheries officer at one time/knows every fish in the sea in WA goes "Don't you know that's a GWS superhighway?!"

dandandan yep, George's accounts are pretty valuable.

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velocityjohnno commented Saturday, 12 Sep 2020 at 7:37pm

back to the clear water stuff:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H3ghzJqwl-g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAYEY-mEx6o
that one doesn't appear to be a white, but I wonder if it's high tide and it's waiting for the gutters to begin to drain out, as per TBB's theory?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Y8VUiOSHN4
This is probably some solution, though I can't see too many sharks in the footage it gives a much better vision of clear water beaches on days when they can be flown. Other than that could we put arrays of passive sonar (like in the cold-war for subs) up and down our beaches, able to detect large fish?? At the moment we have pinging tags which is pretty good too.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-TMzy80agY
we could chase them with wave skis...

Apologies to Byron for so much footage (your water is *so* nice) but that was the search key-words...

Distracted's picture
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Distracted commented Sunday, 13 Sep 2020 at 6:23am

Nick, I’m sure TBB can produce a nice summary, but a couple of the recent ones were the opposite of what you described as you paddled out.
The recent one in Port Macquarie was at about 9am, surf was about 2ft, light offshore breeze and good visibility.
The one in Kingscliff was at about 10am and similar conditions. See visibility in this chopper footage.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-07/surfer-dies-in-shark-attack-near-...

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truebluebasher commented Sunday, 13 Sep 2020 at 10:48pm

tbb want's to point out that the crew are unravelling the timelines.
Without Huey's finest {R.I.P} + Fisho tales + swellnet crew... tbb has nothing.
tbb is stoked by all your surfing spirit...just putting back during drydocked Lay days.

Timetable is a no brainer for surfers & fishos .

Forget about the Vote Chasers...we're doing the Timetable because we have to.
tbb's mention of timetable has been long dedicated to those who own it! {R.IP}

tbb has no doubt surfers / Fishos will draft a respected Oz wide Inshore Timetable.
As said, we must argue & cross check it...sure it's gonna be punk at the start.
For what it's worth these / your / our blogs are already forming that very Timetable.
Sure! We all envisage some conflict but all parties respect laws of the sea.

tbb is willing to get wiser & more to the point where possible...
The difficulty is that surfers paddle a new (fishos) minefield every week.
Crew & tbb were already snowed under with FADS / dredges / Pumping / Sewage!
Clear forgot to include new Tweed Offshore Reef (Huge & Close to shore)

It's important that surfers step up & call out encroachment of Shark Attractants.
tbb submitted such to Qld Fisheries, in regard to Nick's Attack.{R.I.P} Long List.
Yes! a swift reply was given & ref no.
Just saying...they will accept open comments & now's the right time.
The wider the draft the better for surfers...tbb says go for it..Have yer say!
If we keep silent they will gloss over it..crew are clever & need to be heard.
This very crew laughed off goofball Superbank consult...Well! Step it up!
Keep in mind this is WSR forefront Oz Shark inquiry that will shape Oz policy.
Try this gateway it's most free & direct...+ open word count to press yer point!
https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/contact/compliments-complaints/form

The best Science on Migration & seasonal shift will overlay the ground crews effort

Should be able to weigh up the Shark rating as to time x Crowd / Surf Quality.
It's vital that surfers 'own' such a (Valuable) timetable ahead of Authority.
We do not want Seachange / Holidays lowering Ratings nor WSR ramping them!
50% less people in harm's way should timetable 50 reduction in encounters.
Surfers can then double limited resource for double benefit at Hot Spots / hour.
The recent bravery of surfers warrants backup.. Salute the crew for stepping up!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 15 Oct 2020 at 10:30pm

Hey Duck Loveridge
do you have a story to share with us about a recent encounter ?

bluediamond's picture
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bluediamond commented Thursday, 15 Oct 2020 at 10:46pm

Would love to see an open forum on SN on Shark solutions and crew's thoughts on migigation/alerts/strategies. I think the more minds put together on this without the 'normal' bogging down of opinions on what should be done to the sharks the closer we'll come together as a community to actually finding a workable solution for all. If it exists. Just a thought but i reckon this right here is the epicentre of where it's at, crew that are actually living it each and every day, not a news headline or scientific study. Hoping this could be a possibility in the not too distant future SwellNet, and thanks for providing this platform. It really is a frontier zone as far as surf media goes.

The Fire's picture
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The Fire commented Thursday, 15 Oct 2020 at 11:41pm

Record the orcas hunting sounds, play on loop at at every beach and reef around australia for a year and sea what happens..

Or

Install a mini speaker in your board and take the sound where ever you go!

Use what nature uses.

Not hard.

Peace

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freesurfer1977 commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 5:18pm

Blown out open beaches with 4+ foot surf, my brother and I knew the surf would be okay and clean at point Cartwright or plattys. Brown water from recent rain with clean offshore 4 foot waves with no one out, had us pretty excited and frothing. So we jumped out, I Court the first wave of the set, my brother on the next wave behind. I finished my ride just before the rock wall , started paddling back out as my brother kicked off his wave to join me to paddle back to the take off spot together. We were buzzing ,side by side, as close as you can getting without clipping each other's arms and saying how is it possible there is no one out, when all of a sudden,my brother is on my back. I said, what cha doing ya cheeky weirdo, let's get into these waves!!( thinking he was just stoked and mucking around celebrating the waves and punter free line up)
He replied, with a 5 second or so delay. I've just been rammed off my board bro!!! (He was Obviously a bit in shock and disbelief). Frigg this, PADDLE BRO!!! I said!! With him still on my back. So we both paddled as best we could and as fast as possible to the closest point of exit, on a 6,1 board. My brother is 6,3 and a pretty heavy set bloke. So for it to ram him off his board and have him land on my back, it must have been a decent size shark. No teeth marks on his board,but a big size indent that went through to the top layer of glassing.

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bluediamond commented Sunday, 20 Dec 2020 at 6:58pm

Whoa hectic! Glad you're both ok. Bet you pumped out the Hollies 'he ain't heavy...he's my brother' after that one!! Those sharky rivermouths after rain....always a gamble. Sounds like it was pumping though so stoked you got some fun ones and escaped intact!!!

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freesurfer1977 commented Monday, 21 Dec 2020 at 11:09am

Sorry blue, I failed to mention it was over 17 years ago. It's one of a couple that really stand out for me.

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 2:21pm

Sheepdog

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 2:56pm

Fark!

Always sad news.

RIP.

1173

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Sheepdog commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 4:50pm

Was a biiiig shark

Sheepdog

simba's picture
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simba commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:00pm

Rip mate,another down.....

FR i heard a guy had his foil board hammered at north wall sometime in the last week....ripped the foil right off......you heard anything?

simba

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goofyfoot commented Friday, 22 Jan 2021 at 7:30pm

How do you know the size of the shark Shhepdog?