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!
Story Talk - Beno's Bucks.
Good run down. One on the rum and hydro keeping us laughing. Learnt it's the law to piss on ya back tyre :)
Dumped the gear at Lennox house in a wide eyed froth of days ahead. A mansion of unimaginable freedom in the company of many great men.
But the call was loud. South.
No hesitation and boards still strapped to the roof, the Triton party of 5 on the road again. Passed Angels, stop at Flat Rock. Haydos 101 on the ledge break, few lads frothing on the right side shorebreak.
But still the call from one. South.
Conditions must've been assessed by some, as the South Wall premonition drew near. Short wait at the ferry..
Mossy pay the ferry man. And then...
The old man says: "You boys heading to south wall?"
"Gotta warn ya. As you got on, 3 blokes got off. Got on here white as ghosts. Reckon a 4 metre White Pointer cruised the line-up out there."
Queensland number plate!?! Local jibe!?!
Ol' mate: "We don't joke about big sharks round here"
2 minutes through the cane fields. Silence prevails for the most part, until the words are spoken: "It's a rivermouth, there's bound to be sharks."
The man with going south on his mind was not to be deterred and bound to be heard. And then from the driver, "Sharks are everywhere", backing the man.
With cloud covering the skyline of the western ranges, 5 stood ashore in front of a grey break. A perfect glass grey. Pitching and peeling perfectly left.
Two jumped on it. "I'm on it!". Emphatically. One called off it. "You cunts are crazy." Two stood still. With the breakwall pointing a finger to the memory of past North wall sessions and the escalator paddle out, all thoughts by one of the future and the baby due were succumbed by a single thought, "it'll be the easiest paddle out of the trip." Race back to suit up, don't wanna be left behind. Other guy chooses to go too.
Out on the breakwall, group in the water. Out to the break, together. And then, cloud moving east reveals the setting sun. Clear water sand bottom A-frame left shoulder peaks. Golden!
Inspiring take offs set the scene. Here we go. Bad bottom turn leaves one out in the middle. Scramble to the breakwall. Back paddle. Then the metres off the wall to the break alone, big fish stories, reflective surface and electric feel. Legs up. Saw more riding on the way out. Level up. Next peak, left, slow drawn, saw a brother in front going out again. High line turn, lazy flow.
Go in with 4. One out there still until the light's faded...
The man who called it South.
Of course, he was right on, it was his gig :))
I know that feeling there - great read SCB.
Ab diver 20 min cat and mouse with a 5m GWS / Abc news
Just had an interesting encounter with a chunky juvenile white.
Surfing babyfood rock runners with one other guy.
He'd caught a wave and was down the line.
Crystal clear water, sunshine, sitting in about 4-5ft of water.
Some fast moving thing caught my peripheral vision and I turned to the south, saw a big grey shape coming at me at speed. About 3-4ft away it turned sharply, then did a slow circle around me.
Came right underneath me, did a rollover with fins flared and I got a perfect view of the white belly.
We eyeballed each other.
I hooted the other bloke, and paddled straight in over the rocks.
He came in to.
[News] Surfers vs 60 Sharks (Yes! @ Ballina.)
Perfect timing with Record Mullet Run.
That’s some scary shit. I’ve had that happen around here whilst visiting 10 years or so ago. I didn’t get to see which type of shark though , no circling, just zoomed in as I was paddling for a wave , beelined at me , then fucked off. I rode in without getting to my feet. Same conditions as yourself, shallow and clear.
Don’t let water conditions give you a false sense of security. If a shark wants to it can be on you before you can react . That’s how they score dolphins, seals and other fast moving animals.
I used to think that clear water made me safer somehow. Of course it’s better than dirty water , but no guarantee that’s for certain.
I went to a little cove beach to escape the crowds yesterday and found an epic peak with no one around. The southerly swell seems to have deposited green water in some spots and this was one of them.
I was in my wetsuit and just about to walk down the hill and go for a paddle when I noticed a decent sized pointer on the inside gutter, maybe 30 metres from the shore . Not sure what it was looking for , but it did a couple of laps of the beach - out the rip next to the northern rocks , south around the outside peak then back towards shore through the shallow channel the left’s were breaking into.
You could tell it was actively looking for something, not just ambling along. Maybe one of the rays which are thick on this particular beach ?
Surfing over for the day.
I was glad it was sunshine and clear water so I could see exactly what it was doing.
And no big paddle over a gutter to get in, straight back up the rocks!
Remember this ?
yeah I do.
I bet he was glad it was clear water too.
How punk is that?
Imagine having a kick around down at the local oval and a lion starts stalking the players.
Imagine if a grizzly bear had a little tussle with Ash Barty on the court in front of the French Open finals crowd ala Mick and old mate whitey at JBay.
As I was taking off my wettie yesterday after failing to paddle out , I was reflecting on how amazing going for a little paddle can be. One second you’re standing on the rocks , dry and warm without a care and then with one little leap you’re a chance of being fish food.
What was your first thought once you realised what it was f76? Were you calm or poop your pants?
pretty calm actually.
It was more like whoa!, here comes a fcuking white!
Had a really good look at each other......and I had dry land right there.
It came in pretty frisky though in the first approach.
Thanks for sharing guys, glad it just buzzed you Steve and then backed off.
Not uncommon though, around here.
Soon as I saw it, I oriented front on towards it and was able to face it at all times.
Would have been very hard for it to get in behind me and attack in such shallow water.
Amazing how they are so happy to cruise in such shallow water though in clear water and bright sunshine.
No fucks given.
Straight in on the rocks FR, good stuff. My WA encounter was like that, even up to the going right under me & turning for a look. Was a very long, anxious 70m paddle where I tried to go over the shallowest part of the reef. Big gutter before the rocks too.
More recently within last 2 years a little 6ft one lined me up at 45 degree angle, got within about 10ft, then lined out with a right angle turn so 45 degrees out. The shape is unmistakeable.
Glad you are OK. How chunky do you think? I found it very difficult to estimate size when it's coming straight at you.
And Blowin that story is mad.
pretty solid shape....maybe 7-8ft long.
that pectoral girdle is unmistakeable when they roll and look at you.
Good read on Beachgrit ..thanks Longtom
And yes the final Courtroom day will surprise a lot of people...
yeah makes surfing in dirty water questionable.....least you can see them when its clear....false security but better than none.
Looks like that trial was only run over summer, which means it's about as useful as tits on a bull.
Evans Head sharky AF, as well known.
last time I went down there, there were miles and miles of OK beach break with no one out.
I did not feel in the slightest inclined to surf.
yes fairly useless as it says only two sitings around coffs.......well dorsal had more than 2 so maybe seperate info
Same with the other Lighthouse beach, lots of sightings there.
Hey FR, a nice write up at the other site. Did you have a chance to take note of time/tide/phase of moon/other fish running/wind & weather etc? I seem to remember you noting this when the Ballina stuff was going on.
Light WSW/SW wind, steady barometer. About an hour into the run-in tide. 6 days before full moon, so increasing tidal amplitude.
No rain, clear water.
Increasing fish activity, mostly mullet and tailor, but no active feeding while I was out there.
Yeah interesting FR, facing a white while its going down is not to bad losing sight and the unknown things start to get a bit tense.
How did you feel after FR?
My encounter was similar in real time...quite calm, no freak out just a clinical type of observation that it's a GW. I'll never forget the blackness of its eyeball.
After the fact on the beach, I went through a little post experience shock, some shakes and shortness of breath for a few minutes then all good.
This was out at Broken right in the middle of the attack period.
Many years ago I had a mate get repeatedly buzzed by a big fella while surfing alone in the Royal National Park. No injuries, the shark didn't even touch him, yet afterwards he had to get a bit of work done to get his head right. Totally threw him in a spin, and he's a ute-driving, flanno-wearing bloke, and not the kind of person, if stereotypes are to be believed, that would readily fall in a heap.
wonder how many times this happens in dirty water, as in mick fanno,where they do a drive by un noticed.Mick didnt know his shark was there until its tail came out and it got caught up in his leggy....took him a while too settle down too.
We'll see what happens, but if I reflect on it: I've been around sharks for many, many years.
Without being too cavalier, like snakes, I just don't seem to be scared of them. Not in that panic , oh my god way.
7 years ago I was in a crash on the Pacific Highway. I was driving a bus, mini-bus filled with schoolies. Little sardine can.
I approached a roadworks area, down a hill. Slip road on the side entering the highway.
I'd just passed this caravan on the way up the hill.
Coming down the hill, I slowed down, looked in the rear view and saw this caravan and 4WD coming down the hill sideways at a 110, in a flat spin.
There's another 4wd entering the highway on the slip road.
Concrete wall on the other side of me.
Caravan and 4wd come around me sideways just nick the trailer go flying around me, somehow manage to slip in between me and the entering 4wd and go around me and smash sideways into the concrete wall.
No one injured.
7 people died in crashes on the highway that day.
I could have a full bus load of kids taken out.
That rattled me and kept me awake at night.
Luckily for me I had a couple of weeks off at Plomer to reset the nervous system.
If your plomer trip was at Xmas it would have been more nerve wracking than the near miss.
little secret trip: the two weeks before Xmas.
tents set up everywhere but no one there.
The fortnight before Easter and Xmas are my favourite dates to travel.
that particular trip the backbeach was about as fun as it gets and I caught a 20kg jew off the rocks, so about the best therapy possible.
Tides and winds at dusk / dawn look pretty fucken good for some of that big Jew action.
Could I really give my missus a better birthday present than a sub 10 degree pre-dawn mission and the opportunity of gaffing a jewfish off the rocks ?
I didn’t think so either.
She knew what she was signing up for when we met.
"I've seen heaps of sharks."
"I don't know what I'm talking about."
"You’ve got nothing to add so you’ve come here to snark and slur in order to gain some attention."
Your raison d'être B.I.
We've all known it for years
Good news and good night and good luck.
Getting back on topic......
Had an interesting encounter with a tiger shark cruising along at Broken Head
A dozen or so out surfing plus a couple of bodysurfers, beautiful clear water, small surf. A tiger shark cruises through the line up towards me, then around me - half my brain is taking in the beauty of the shape and markings of a shark about 10 foot long, the other half is freaking out and trying to make me as small as possible on my board. Bloke next to me freaks out falls off his board, thrashes about, does everything you shouldn't do and the two bodysurfers are already on the beach engaged in a elaborate mime double act describing a dorsal fin.
Took about 10 minutes for someone to catch a wave.
I’d love to know (or not) how often we get checked out by large Noah’s surfing in dirty water. Probably more often than we think.
Ps. Stu/Ben can you delete that other bullshit a few comments up? Too many interesting threads are ruined already by this shit
how long ago was that Boatie?