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!
It was a overcast gloomy winters day on the west coast of S.A, The carpark was empty and the wind was light south south east, resonably clean long left handers were peeling off along the orange granite rock lined point. It was to good to drive away from and what would the boys back home say if i didnt go out? So i took a couple photos and watched for a while. Occasionally the sun would brefly poke through the clouds making it look all the more inviting and reducing the double grey effect of the sky and ocean contrasting together( at the time i had never heard of double grey senario). I came up with the idea that if my girlfriend saw a shark from the vantage point of the high cliffs that she would 'toot' the horn and i would hear it and safely paddle the short distance to shore. It looked like an easy task from the carpark and the surf was improving by the minute. It took me longer than i thought to paddle out around the short right breaking into the channel and the swell was a bit bigger than it first looked, but i was out there! Stoked that i would be soon riding some of the best waves of my life and have full bragging rights to my mates!!
The take off area on the peak was a bit beyond my ability so i drifted down the point a bit to find a fatter, easier spot to get onto one of the long lefts, after a couple of attempts i was about mid way along the point, i was sitting on my board looking down at the deep blue rays of light you see when you cant see the bottom thinking to myself 'geez' its deep water out here. I focussed my attension again out the back at the incoming set and tried to make position to catch a wave, next thing i knew i was thinking 'geez' its shallow here? i must have drifted over a reefy section as when i looked back down there were no deep blue rays, its was just all black beneath me, as FAR as i could see both sides of my board, as well as infront and behind me?? WTF ?? thats wierd? I looked up again towards the peak at the approaching set to try and gain some perspective of where i was on the point and how quickly i was drifting?? I looked back down again and the deep blue rays had returned.
It was precisely that moment that i realised something wasn't right, and the first thoughts of what was the best way to get back in? Paddling back around the peak via the right hander and into the safety of the channel seemed the safest option. Thats when i saw it about 30 metres away near the peak!! i only saw the top half of the tail and a bit of what that tail was connected to, No bullshit the top half of its tail was at least 5 ft out the water and i got a good look at it as it turned sideways like it was turning back in my direction. My instinct was it had to be a whale as it seemed much to large to be a shark, i looked up towards the car and saw my girlfriend jumping and waving running along the cliffs like a crazy woman, I was absolutly petrified and instantly decided that i was getting the fuck out of the water as quickly as possible as whatever it was it was a BLOODY BIG FISH!!. I bee lined it straight towards the bouldery rockpool shoreline and as the wave stood up behind me about to break i suddenly became aware of the dangers of being impailed on the rocks, i pulled back at the last second and the wave smashed on the rocks, i was almost over come with fear and was still in the reaches of this massive beast! I quickly made the desicion that i would rather be smashed on the rocks than remain in the water, so i put my head down and paddled with everything i had towards the rocky shore. There must have been a bit of a lull in the sets as surpisingly i didnt get pitched on the rocks and i skipped and scampered to the safety of the shore. Amazingly i didnt shit myself (literally) and as i turned back to look out to sea a six wave set bigger than any others that day exploded exactly where i had paddled in. It was like divine intervention.
My girlfriend ran up to me freaking out and almost as shaken as me and said she saw a large dorsel fin and tail heading straight towards me then submerging before passing under me. I told her it was way to big to be a shark and it must have been a giant whale. I think i nearly convinced myself and her until we went in to town and looked at the tip of a great whites tail in a photo and saw it was exactly the same (just a lot smaller!!)as the top of the fin i saw turning back towards me. Also i worked out that a whales tale is sideways to its dorsal fin and this bad boy was facing the same way.
A couple days later we arrived at the desert oasis to be greeted by a 3 to 4 metre swell with light offshore winds and only a handful of campers. Its still the best day ive ever seen there but i couldnt bring myself to enter th water, everywhere i looked i thought i could see sharks.
...and then you woke up
The shark numbers sighted over here in the last few weeks are out of control...guys talkn about goin to the gym at this time of year instead of surfing pumping waves...I'm presuming that if the pointer population remains unmolested things are going to get worse at an increasing rate.....
I made the prediction a few years ago when we were booted out of the shark gillnet fishery that this will be the demise of paddle surfing on the westcoast of SA in the near future, within a couple of years this coast will be known as the "Tow coast"....so ladies "start your engines"
Deadset, not aword of a lie, if i was bullshitting i would have said the fucker stared me down as it went passed or sometime like that, It was the size of a STA bus!!
not the only close encounter the pharmer has had with the girlfriend, now wife wachin on, needless to say i dont take her to watch me surf anymore.
"... it must have been a giant whale"... teehee
schmuck, if ya scared of paddling with pointers, then don't surf. You only live once, and if it's big enough and takes ya in two, it'll be over nice and quick. Probably not a bad way to go... better than gettin run over by a jetski
Crazy story there yorkes.
Remember when a young Jeff Schmucker freaked everyone out in the NW, jumping in the water, and wrestling and throwing that big bronzie into the tinny. One of the glossie mags, I think SW did an article on it.
We met those guys at Blacks, one of the worse things was how little assistance they got. They reckon no one really believed them.
uplift, is the Elliston area seeing more whites now than the 1990s, sheringa seems to be a hotspot for the larger ones of late.
There's heaps of Salmon at Sheringa now, and this time of year is activity time anyway Udo. I hardly surfed blacks at all last 3 - 4 years, but the ab divers give the most accurate info re sightings anyway, and they talk about increased sightings/encounters. We hear of heaps nowadays, not like back then. One long time surfer, and one of the best, most experienced divers I know wouldn't cray dive around Sheringa on a rare perfect day last week, because of that reason.
Interesting topic, I like many of you have been surfing in SA for 20 years. Mainly victor and yorkes and have never seen a shark while surfing, a lot of dolphins and seals but luckily never a shark, but one afternoon a mate and I were in pt. victoria and decided to go fishing off the Jetty. We get the rods and bait, head down there, chuck the lines in and wait. Next thing bam I'm on, pt. Jackson shark, we end up catching about 15 of these things, the hooks were getting stuck and making the fish bleed alot lot. Then at about 12.30am a white pointer obviously attracted by the blood that was also spotted by 2 guys in a dinghy and reported on the news the next day swam under the Jetty where we were fishing. I estimate 15-18ft long but the guys in the dinghy said it was twice as long as their 10ft dinghy and twice as fat.
A bloke at Waitpinga had a serious run in with a 10' Bronzie last week. Bumped him off his board, old mate then had to feed his board to the shark. As old mate is paddling in the shark is circling, has another shot, gets fed more board. Then a couple of other blokes paddle over to help, and end up having to use their own boards to defend themselves.
The salmon were running thick this day, both at Waits and Parsons.
What day was that TGF?
What day was that TGF?
Either last Tuesday or Wednesday - I've been on holidays for so long now the days kinda blend from one day to the next.
Paddled out at the Bower a few years ago and Dave the Body surfing loonie was out there .....he said hello and did I see the 15 foot tiger that cruised thought the line up the weekend before .....Dave , I said , you and I both know there are no tigers in Australia!............Anyway I felt ok in the water becuse Dave was out there body surfing.
Interesting article which certainly explains the numerous sightings on my stretch of coast!
Yeah it's been known for a few years now that the Stockton Bight region is a juvenile GW breeding ground, but reading 20% of their time is in the surf zone, crazy!
Wayne Lynch tells his shark story
Wayne Lynch tells his shark story
Wayne Lynch tells his shark story
To quote G. Costansa "if you believe, then it's true"
What a legend, does anyone really believe that?
i believe the wave . had it to myself a coupla times . and hopefully the shark story is true . might keep a few people away .
The only thing I believe in that story, was he told the guy to fuck off just for paddling out. LOL
Saw at least 3 sharks feeding in Cape Paterson today. One of them would have been 3m plus. A lot of surfers in the water but the sharks didn't seem interested in moving away from whatever they had going on. I came in but most of the surfers didn't seem to mind once we told them. The wind was already blowing onshore by then anyway. The sharks would have been 2-300m from the surfers.
Another shark attack I see (thanks Fitzroy)..... And Fitzy, wonder if it is a whitey or a whaler.........Seems everyone is more interested in Kelly than fatal shark attacks in NSW...... What a strange world.......... At least I got to read your link..... ;)
Not sure down that way SD, Even at this time of the year with the right currents you can't dismiss a tiger either.
Interesting to note the link to a WA attack also.
The first decent shark that I seen was at chinamens, southern Yorke peninsula, the swell was 4ft ish, the reef was clear to see in about 6 feet of water, so I peered down for a look as no sets where arriving. Looking down I see a rippling line, what? The shark about a 7 foot bronze whaler came from straight behind the board, I did not see its top but its fin came out of the water an inch in front of the nose of my board, I waited to check the tail for shark or dolphin? And then quietly said to the boy- shark, they said no, seen it, dolphins. I paddled in to the key hole in the ledge and it come straight off the bottom at me before a last moment turn and dart off to the shadows. I told the boys, we all got out, that was about 1984. My brother and a mate jump in the crescent shape hole between chi`s and the island, the 1st thing that swims past is 15 feet long. They get out and go to the pub where Shaun tells them that 2 divers had the same experience 2weeks earlier but they sit on the island for six hours waiting for low tide so that they could walk back across the reef. On another occasion up at trespasses, the day was hot , the surf small and I`m um and arring about the walk. 2 surfers come back while walking past 5 going down, I speak with them, they advise me not to bother as there is little surf and a ten foot shark cruising the reef. So, did you tell those other boys going down there about the shark? No! Oh I thought this could be interesting, I sat upon a rock and watched, 20 minutes later the first paddles in followed in a line like little ducks all the rest of the boys. I greet the boys and ask how the surf was? Don`t go down there, there is a 10 foot submarine cruising the reef, me has a quiet chuckle and do not mention that I knew as I do not want to cause any trouble. On a paddle out at small 1 to 2 reef Daly`s, I`m paddling over the inside bowl and beside me in the wave there is the face of a 6 foot bronze whaler only 8 inches away, we almost head butt each other as we go in our respective directions. The whaler turns instantly and disappears into the north side of the reef. Ah well, its gone, so I continue surfing. I use to sit out by myself on 3 rd reef Daly`s all the way through the 1980-90s with no problem divine intervention I reckon, as I`m on holiday from WA where I now live, and thought I would ask the Adelaide crew if they think there are more sharks now? The stories so far of Daly`s are, one 18 foot white pointer moving in to chomp a guy on main break and another guy who had about a 14 footer come up right next to him to check him out, made him shit his pants. Another guy told me a few years earlier of a 15 footer b lining him in the surf at rock piles, he was paralyzed with fear but got in only because a big set washed him from his board into the rocks. During the time that I use to surf this area I mostly only seen small brozies on the surface, which would leave as soon as they seen you, with the exception of one day when a mate says look at that, out at 3 rd reef Daly` s there are two 7 meter\ 21 footers, white pointers swimming past. People I know who know pilots flying the area, reckon there are always at least 6 big sharks swimming in the Daly`s area and that we are mad, but the truth is that mostly you never are bothered by or visited by these fish, but will that
remain the way or is it just a matter of time before bad news comes. Bugger it, I` m talking up more fishing with a rod now. Still go spearfishing but, and would never go out across that Daly`s reef with a speargun, just asking for trouble. Enjoy the new national surfing reserve at Daly`s it deserves recognition, it is by far one of the countries best surf locations, but keep your eyes open.
Reports filtering through of a shark attack at Elliston today (West Coast SA). Apparently the surfer wasn't harmed, but this photo (via FB) shows the damage to the board. Feet up!
Thats right he was 500 m offshore riding a 9"6 board . ( mine) & was hit like a truck the fish let him live but chomped board terribly . Big fish apparently
Holy shit, that's incredible. Were you out there at the time?
So i suppose he got back on the board and paddled back in,fukkin 500 m,wouldve felt like 500 miles,lucky man.
AdelaideNow have a news story up. Heavy stuff!
Uplift, you got some info from Elliston on this.
This guy monky is a survivor & fearless i bet he wont be too bothered
Why would he be bothered, it was only a 15ft white that lucky for him knocked him off his board before it tried to bite right thru it.Nothing to be concerned about.
Haha yeah nuthing to concerned with simba no thermel Ben i missed it , busy surfing more remote wave further out with another guy . Where he got greeted is a spooky shark bypass for sure . Only a handful of ppl have ever ridden the wave . Maybe old guru upless can authorize the wave Baa bommie ?
Good to see the boys are all all right. Yeh, not surfed much. The kids, Neutrons and co used to surf it years ago in summer when it was tiny and glassy. Wind surfers used to come and fang in and out there. I had a go at that for a while, but didn't like all the gear needed, plus packing it up in tornadoes. I can remember floundering around out there trying to figure out how to get the fucking thing back to the beach. Its a suss spot, though, the entrance to the restuarant that is the bay. Sam's getting good at the photo thing isn't he, he could give you a few posing lessons camsless. We knew that boxing night would go to his head.
Hey cuplift i rember you pointing that wave to me way back & this autumn i have been out about 6 times . Often with jervis or cobby , immediatly there was fear of exposure . I said this is so freaky & such long paddle that its not a worry. Well now it has been exposed , whose going to be back out there ?
Oh yeah just rembered that monkys first surf there just a week or so back he broke his leggy , alone out there & couldnt be seen for half hr as he swam around searching for his drifting ( out ) 6"8 board . Subsequently i loaned him a 9"6 just a few days ago so he might be better equipped . And Thats monkys tough love story in brief
Some years ago, I was talking to one of the people who hang glide off the headland at Byron Bay. They fly mainly over Suffolk Park. He said, we hang gliders look down and see the surfers looking up at us. We sometimes wonder, are those surfers thinking about how crazy we flyers must be, doing something that seems so dangerous. Because, that is what we are thinking looking down at them. We can see the sharks. We are thinking, thank God I am up here where it is safe, rather than down there with those crazy surfers.
Christ, wally! love your work, but really, I was quite happy living in denial - I love surfing that stretch, god knows what I'll be thinking next time I paddle out there..
Yeh camster, that and that right off the top of the cliffs is pretty out there too. Been stuck out there a few times wondering about what else is with you. Still the biggest talk around the place this morning is the supreme 'Jervis gut suck'. Magnificent pose, and poise, even under extreme pressure, he's remembered to suck it in, flex, and angle beautifully... the girls spotted it though. Its gone global, viral. Under the big top.
Sorry bluem00n, I like that stretch of the coast myself. Just keep reminding yourself, vending machines kill more people than sharks.
Vending machines don't hunt you though Wally;)
Wow.... that shark saw something that was 9"6 and thought it was meal sized.....
That shark picked on the wrong bloke, Monk is a legend and fearless. Watched him surfed 8 foot Backdoors by himself coping a massive set on the head almost get sucked into the cliff and then get in a rip and pulled out to sea. All after a few spiked coffees. So stoked you guys are all alive.
There's more to the story Camel please share. Did the shark not like the taste of Monks blood?
Mick its true monky holds the title for latest go outs in evening around town . He passed up on this morn surf at dawn but the other 2 lads returned at dawn for more waves at a bommie furthur offshore .those 2 crazies were getting 10ft barrells this morn . Heard mention that it was a bad moment for surfers yestrday ?
ah yes bloody sharks who would of thought of them having a taste of us slow moving humans but this time the shark didn't like it and they are just in their domain. enjoy the waves if you dare
Thanks Camel, I ask Monk if he was scared of Sharks he said no. I don't think it will change his attitude even after that attack. I know in Margs people now surf later in the morning to avoid them but what time was the attack? Any more details ? Did Monk have to fight it off or did he just get launched into the air?
All these stories are pretty freaky for sure!!
Still its interesting that given the general feel amongst these hardcore crew & others that shark numbers (whites particularly) are way up, that we record so few fatal shark attacks in this country & yet the fear of this unknown of the ocean is way more powerful than the pure stats of much higher death rates associated with so many other mundane day to day activities we do in life.............
But I feel it too even though i have accepted the possibility of shark attack surfing Southwest WA regularly.