Surfer fends off white pointer shark near Lorne
A Victorian surfer says he is lucky he was wearing a thick winter wetsuit after a shark attacked him numerous times off the state's south coast.
Police said six people were in the water at Cathedral Rock, east of Lorne, when a three-metre white pointer emerged about 10–15 metres off shore.
Marcel Brundler said he initially thought the shark was a dolphin.
"But then I realised fairly quick because it was more than half a metre wide, with a massive dorsal fin, and it looked at me," he said.
"Then it kind of dived off, came back and circled me, and took a fair notch out of my board, circled me again, then it got me on my wettie, it got me on my hip.
"Luckily, it's just a little scrape on my skin."
Marcel Brundler used his surfboard to fend off the shark (photo: Marcel Brundler)
The regular surfer was wearing a thick wetsuit to guard against Victoria's chilly waters.
"When he got me he kind of dragged me on a little bit. Luckily I was wearing a really, really thick rubber wetsuit, which probably saved me from bigger injuries," Mr Brundler said.
"Then I've just given him a punch and luckily a set wave came around and I've just taken off on the set wave and ridden it to the rocks to safety."
He estimated the encounter lasted for at least a minute.
"A really, really unpleasant morning."
Mr Brundler said he tried to keep quiet, and keep his pulse down, while fending the shark off with his board.
"I saw he was going to come at me, so I went off my board onto the other side, to defend myself, basically use it as a shield," he said.
He said he had been surfing on the coast for 11 years and had only ever seen one shark.
Despite the ordeal, Mr Brundler said he was mainly upset about the damage to his expensive surfboard and wetsuit, and he intends to be back in the water soon.
Mr Brundler credits his thick winter wetsuit for saving him from injury (photo Marcel Brundler)
"It kind of does [put me off surfing again] but also doesn't, because I'm always in the nature of fish, on the boat, surfing," he said.
"So it's just something you live with, it's just a fish.
"I'm a bit pissed off with him because after he had a nibble of me and he kind of knew there's nothing there, he came back to bite me again, which I think is unusual.
"My theory about sharks is that usually they check you out and then they leave the minute they know it's not a seal.
"He was just curious but to come back, maybe he just wanted to play."
//YVETTE GRAY AND LORETTA FLORANCE
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