Surfer fends off white pointer shark near Lorne

Yvette Gray
Swellnet Dispatch

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
© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 3:05pm

Maybe he just wanted to play WTF..he he

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 4:03pm

JS boards attract sharks.

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 4:07pm

sounds like the the shark is lucky marcel didn't slap him around in the car park and drag him down to the nearest ATM to pay for the board.

loungelizard's picture
loungelizard's picture
loungelizard commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 5:05pm

that's funny chook, and here's hoping he had a better afternoon..

loungelizard's picture
loungelizard's picture
loungelizard commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 5:25pm

post mick fanning you are going to have to jump on a pointers back and wrassle it through a barrel and onto the beach to get media attention

flow's picture
flow's picture
flow commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 5:45pm

Great effort. I can't think how I'd react in those circumstances. I 'd guess with a lot
less composure than Marcel.

pigdog's picture
pigdog's picture
pigdog commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 5:49pm

i think i would freeze in fear and not be able to react until necessary…
what is the % of coloured bottom boards to white bottom surfboards that have been chomped on….9/10 seem to be white…is that because most boards are white?

Fleazool's picture
Fleazool's picture
Fleazool commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 5:48pm

Yeah well played old mate.
Hopefully that's a one off for Vic.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 8:51pm

" My 'theory' about sharks is that usually they check you out and then they leave the minute they know it's not a seal."
Mythbusted
"I,m a bit pissed off with him ,," .. very few people exit the water after an 'encounter' with a great white claiming they were over all happy with the experience. what did he expect ? a rubdown and a shiatsu.

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 9:13pm

Marcel sounds like one very calm, cool dude really glad he is ok. What makes one shark have a nip and others swim by? If may already happen I don't know but It could be very helpful if CSIRO or Whitetag spoke with Marcel and even those not as fortunate as him who have also survived such encounters/attacks. Were there any external factors that may have attracted the shark? Perhaps bleeding or urinating in your wetsuit whilst surfing on this occasion or recently? Some helpful information could be collected.

Toppa

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 29 Aug 2017 at 9:49pm

Wow that's such a gentle bite for such a big animal.

toosha's picture
toosha's picture
toosha commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 8:33am

Anyone seen those Nat Geo Doco's when the stupid apex predators ( bears, lions tigers etc ) are learning about their prey , attacking hedgehogs ,snakes etc. Great work Marcel, you have taught this shark a good lesson about those funny looking black and white jellyfish that taste like crap and leave the roof of your mouth all itchy. Hope you are alright though.

Blackdog's picture
Blackdog's picture
Blackdog commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 9:40am

It's been a month to the day since I've seen the last whale for the season along this strech of coast. Must be hungry looking for the next big ticket food item. Them bite marks look a bit like mako to me

Toppa's picture
Toppa's picture
Toppa commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 10:53am

I saw a southern right whale last Friday at Torquay point travelling towards Lorne.

Toppa

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 4:40pm

It's going to be interesting if there will be more attacks after this, it always seems these days there is a few attacks within months in one state, WA, NSW...now seems it might be Victorias turn again.

We had a few attacks in the late 80,s early 90's but i don't remember many since then?

Ignore button is ON for Crypto knight

(Really no point entering into any discussion with such a sad bitter abusive old man, so go ahead bait and abuse me all you like)

ant shannon's picture
ant shannon's picture
ant shannon commented Thursday, 31 Aug 2017 at 12:25pm

Fake ?
Apols,
Just strange teeth marks for GW .

Ants

Meris's picture
Meris's picture
Meris commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 6:08pm

Are you for real ant, I have known the bloke for years. He is one of the straightest shooters you will ever come across. How would you have handled the situation ?

Meris's picture
Meris's picture
Meris commented Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 at 6:08pm

Are you for real ant, I have known the bloke for years. He is one of the straightest shooters you will ever come across. How would you have handled the situation ?

waxer's picture
waxer's picture
waxer commented Thursday, 31 Aug 2017 at 7:45am

Whites and Tigers will have a nibble of anything just because they are curious. Doesn't matter if they know you are not a seal. That's why they latch onto anything they are curious about e.g. outboard motors of boats, and they look nothing like a seal. Lucky man.

oldcoastroad's picture
oldcoastroad's picture
oldcoastroad commented Thursday, 31 Aug 2017 at 9:05am

those bite marks look more like a baby megladon or the elusive pink retractor shark to me . could even be a sharp tooth gummy
no way a white though.
i have noticed a rising trend of shark racism with any attack being blamedc on the poor old pointer, give em a break

radiationrules's picture
radiationrules's picture
radiationrules commented Friday, 1 Sep 2017 at 11:07am

jeez I'm impressed marcel - I don't I would have had a though like "Mr Brundler said he tried to keep quiet, and keep his pulse down, while fending the shark off with his board." you must do yoga or meditation etc.
Anyway, thanks be that you're ol right - and I've learned something should the encounter come my way...
..good idea on CSIRO gathering data..so we can all learn