Shark leaves chilling souvenir in Tweed Coast surfer's board

Cathy Border
Swellnet Dispatch

A surfer has described the terrifying moment he fell on top of a huge shark after being knocked off his board in northern New South Wales a week after a fatal attack in the region.

Christian Bungate was about 50 metres off Cabarita Beach on a hydrofoil board on Wednesday afternoon when he saw a large shadow, about 80 centimetres wide, alongside him.

"It was like there was an oil slick next to me, it was so big," he said.

"It came up so slowly, and I literally shit myself and kicked it as hard as I could with my right leg."

As Mr Bungate attempted to get away the shark hit his board and sent him into the water.

"I was off my board and on top of the bloody thing," he said.

"It was like I was submerged on a rock, it was so hard and rough."

Foiled attempt

As he managed to scramble off, the predator came at him with jaws gaping, but bit the board instead.

Mr Bungate was convinced if he had been on a standard surfboard rather than a foil board, which has a 70cm keel and wings instead of a fin, he would be dead.

"I'm 100 per cent sure if I was on a normal surfboard it would've given the shark clear access to get straight back at me and it probably would've taken out my stomach," he said.

"Instead it caught the wing of my foil board, hence why there's a bloody tooth in it."

Mr Bungate frantically paddled back to shore with his friend, Luke Fitcher, who witnessed the lucky escape.

"I could've kicked through concrete I was kicking so hard," Mr Bungate said.

"I left my board and I crawled up the beach and I lay on my stomach bawling my eyes out.

"By this stage there are people watching it on the headland, running down, screaming."

Christian Bungate and his three sons

Bad vibrations

It's not the first time the construction worker has had a lucky escape while surfing.

In 2009 while on a surf trip to Indonesia, he was out on a charter board when the Sumatra earthquake struck, and was confronted with absolute devastation when he returned to the island.

While the foil board may have prevented the shark from attacking him, Mr Bungate said he had heard reports sharks can be attracted by the board's vibrations.

Daryl McPhee, a shark expert from Bond University, said it was possible the sound of the board could draw a shark.

"In pop culture there's always a lot of focus on how sensitive sharks are at detecting blood in the water, but they're not as sensitive at that as most people think," he said.

"But one of their key senses at detecting is hearing — so actually detecting vibrations in the water."

Read the signs

Mr Bungate's close encounter occurred about 25 kilometres south of Greenmount Beach, where a great white shark fatally mauled local surfer Nick Slater, 46, on September 8.

It was the first shark attack death on a Gold Coast beach since 1958.

Gold Coast lifesaving supervisor Nathan Fife said there had been a number of shark sightings in the region since the attack and it was important for swimmers and surfers to be on the lookout for warning signs.

"We have seen a lot of bait fish around and that is going to continue, we still have whales heading south," he said.

"We're telling people if they do see any bait balls, or see seagulls diving in the water please stay well away.

"Get out of the water and go and see our lifesavers and let them know so they can clear the water."

Mr Bungate said he had made tentative steps to getting back into the water.

"Yesterday I did have a swim but I only went out about two metres, rolled around and came back in," he said.

//Cathy Border and Gemma Sapwell

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 12:53pm

One of the more lucky ones.

Now he can make a boss necklace.

1173

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 4:33pm

A surfing Dad in the increasingly busy GWS highway. Behind the smile lies a new layer of worry about far more than his own safety.

Frogg

Coaster's picture
Coaster's picture
Coaster commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 2:43pm

I noticed one small error in the story. There are no shark experts at Bond University.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 11:17pm

Agree Coaster! ...tbb's local makes for a weird reading!
Only locals would know of Bond Uni as OZ Shark hot spot.
The very reason we've had two fatal shark attacks here!

Bond Uni Bull Sharks...
https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/1298168737/Picture_4.png
Having Oz Shark Central as yer Classroom is pretty handy...
Naturally inspired many Bond Uni Shark Papers...
https://www.skyepics.com.au/image/aerialphotoQLDAustralia-13465-13.jpg

https://www.smh.com.au/national/high-rise-shark-hunter-warns-of-danger-2...
https://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/lifestyle/beaches-and-fishing/gold-...
https://www.facebook.com/9NewsGoldCoast/videos/shark-warning/35656879847...
Bond Uni business sharks won't dare toss a coin into shark fountain.
https://www.mundialintercambio.com.br/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Bo...
https://bondgoldcoastnews.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/shark.jpg
https://static.bond.edu.au/sites/default/files/styles/standard/public/cl...

Bond Uni legal eagles also scripted & boss WSL Rulebook
Bond 'WSL Surf Degree' to youngest World Pro Champ.
https://bond.edu.au/news/62970/bond-catches-ride-wsl

Bond Uni Tidal Weir gates mankind's greatest estuary.(Shh!)
First & last you'll hear of it, as we're not to mention the locals!
https://research-repository.griffith.edu.au/bitstream/handle/10072/57047...

wozz's picture
wozz's picture
wozz commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 5:43am

I just googled it apparently there is

mike oxhard's picture
mike oxhard's picture
mike oxhard commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 3:01pm

"I literally shit myself" that might have just saved his life

scroty's picture
scroty's picture
scroty commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 9:44am

I was surprised he added that detail.
Unless he literally doesn't know what "literally" literally means.
Or maybe he does, and literally littorally pooed his boardies.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 10:06am

You'd have to interpret his words literally.

Have heard of crew do this before when they see big GWS

FrazP's picture
FrazP's picture
FrazP commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 3:11pm

Bump at Burleigh as well I read.

The number of interactions up and down the east coast is becoming mind blowing.

2ft the other day with a bit of wind. Bait ball 100m off the beach with birds - normally I would have just went for a paddle and few quiet ones but decided no. Times have changed.

Something needs to be done - not knowledgeable enough to put forward what that should be. More drum lines? Permanently removing sharks hanging in an area?

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 4:12pm

Are surfers out at places like Fingal Head and Salt still on a daily basis?

Frogg

FrazP's picture
FrazP's picture
FrazP commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 4:55pm

Gee you'd be wary frogg. Want to be good

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 7:15pm

Things sure have changed.

Paradise lost.

Frogg

Jono's picture
Jono's picture
Jono commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 10:23pm

Definitely changed. The south kingy and salt stretch was my standard daily spot but most people around here avoid it now. Still take the kids and dog for a walk there most days and rarely see people surfing. It's changed a bit in the past few weeks with a few people getting back out there, I finally got back out there a couple of weeks ago but not the outer banks, just high tide shorey stuff. All of the other locals I speak to are in a similar mindset and have had a decent break from that stretch for a while. I found myself surfing Caba or Goldy points as they seemed safer but the past couple of weeks has blown that theory out of the water. North side of kingy was busy last week, everybody grouped together pretty tightly and not much grumbling about crowds. One thing I found interesting - about a week after the salt attack I was with the kids down at the far north end of south Kingscliff right next to the creek mouth, and I turn around and there is two bodyboarders coming in from the surf. I had a bit of a chat, turns out they were surfing the bombie way out off the creek mouth. Casual as, just paddle a few hundred metres out to a deep water creek mouth for a sesh.

Davesci's picture
Davesci's picture
Davesci commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 9:12am

Yikes. More than a few hundred, it's a good 700m out. Surfed it once and the place was teeming with life. No thanks, not at the moment...

Taylor John's picture
Taylor John's picture
Taylor John commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 6:36pm

I usually Fingal / Kingy on regular basis but having been avoiding it and surfing the point a lot (superbank) but after last week, seems no where is as safe as ya think ?

Aus_Gannet's picture
Aus_Gannet's picture
Aus_Gannet commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 9:09pm

So a foil nearly cleaned up another character in the water and they got a bit edgy and lashed out. Can’t help but have some empathy.....

dudette's picture
dudette's picture
dudette commented Saturday, 19 Sep 2020 at 11:17pm

What the fuck has a Sumatra earthquake got to do with the story. What was is it 2009. Seems relevant to a story about shark activity in 2020 in NSW.

mike oxhard's picture
mike oxhard's picture
mike oxhard commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 4:36am

I've been "bumped" 4 times in my life, once at lefties and once at black point and twice at east end rotto, every time bait balls have had nothing to do with the situation, GWS dont hunt bait fish, stop this bullshit jounalism, it's not helping

DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet's picture
DudeSweetDudeSweet commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 6:02am

Perhaps the journalists don’t differentiate between bait balls and schools of other larger migratory fish such as salmon which definitely attract Whites.

Numbatt's picture
Numbatt's picture
Numbatt commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 9:30am

You're a psycho.
Did ya ride any of them?

Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656's picture
Timmy5656 commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 12:37pm

West end ???

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 5:32am

Reading stories of horror and people getting ripped apart it’s clear that the government aren’t going to make a move to save aussie lives and recreation but what about the economy? Surely the tourist numbers are going to drop towards zero in the future. Who wants to holiday on the set of a jaws movie.

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 7:58am

The tourist impacts will be a little hard to measure if occasionally older surfers get hit and the surf in out of the way beaches slowly empties of surfers. The local tourism operators, however, will sense the shift. But if one or two kiddies swimming between the flags at popular tourist spots were eaten it would be a very different matter.

At some point "we need more research" will not be an adequate answer.

Frogg

dazzler's picture
dazzler's picture
dazzler commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 1:22pm

Agree middle aged surfers, plenty of us to go around.

Imagine the reaction if child got taken at a nippers carnival or a toursit being taken at Surfers.

Oceanbeach's picture
Oceanbeach's picture
Oceanbeach commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 8:10am

imagine being bumped by a shark, landing ontop of it and being there long enough to remember the feeling of its skin

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 10:39am

Makes you feel queasy eh

Dylan Gilford's picture
Dylan Gilford's picture
Dylan Gilford commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 2:16pm

great family photo

Dylan Gilford

Geereg's picture
Geereg's picture
Geereg commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 4:40pm

The dude abides.

Gg

tango's picture
tango's picture
tango commented Sunday, 20 Sep 2020 at 10:22pm

I'm a bit disappointed in the ABC for this article - it's a bit too sensational. It must have been a full-on situation, for sure, and I say that having had a shark swim along my leg a couple of years ago, kick it, then have it tangled in my leggie, so I do get it.

The GWS issue is real, but it's not aided by this kind of reporting that peddles every old-school fright.

Have to confess, though, that surfing on dark down here in Vic is getting harder to do with all these reports and the known migrations south then thru Bass Strait towards Cape Otway. Plus the whales are around.

Spuddups's picture
Spuddups's picture
Spuddups commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 5:06am

Sounds like a bad situation up there. Hopefully it’s just a temporary thing connected to migratory patterns. We missed out on our annual holiday up there this year due to Covid. I do quite a bit of surfing up at Fingal so in some ways I’m happy to wait this thing out.

everest's picture
everest's picture
everest commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:16am

I have a shark shield because I have 2 young kids and I won't stop surfing. West Aus has its share of GWS and plenty of unreported encounters.
For those of you who think a shark shield somehow reduces your masculinity I say good luck but please stop whining about sharks until you have taken all proven attack mitigating steps yourself.
Shark shields are scientifically proven by independent researchers to significantly reduce the chance of attack. They don't attract sharks either.
If you whinge about sharks but don't use one then you fall within my definition of stupid... repeating a behaviour expecting a different result.
If you don't whinge about sharks and don't have one then happy days... you accept the risk and get on with it.

everest's picture
everest's picture
everest commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:24am

For disclosure purposes I have nothing to do with the Shark shield company but really dislike the idea of killing a highly intelligent animal for being good at what it does naturally just because it doesn't accord with our preferred leisure activity.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:38am

I find the common refrain "something must be done" curious. Done about what? The sharks? Why must anything "be done about the sharks"? Do the sharks have a say in the matter? Do they even understand what's happening? Should we also have a taipan/brown snake cull? What about drunk/drugged drivers that kill/maim someone - should they be culled? Far more people are killed through the reckless and concious decisions of their fellow drivers than sharks.

"something must be done"....about the humans? if those leggy devices are proven to work, maybe the something done is....everyone taking ownership of the risks and buying one? I mean heck, if such a device could reduce the rate of bite in induced scenarios (i.e. where researchers are trying to bait the shark into biting) by >50% then imagine how effective they are when there isn't blood and action in the water and the shark is "just cruising by and figures a curiosity bite could be worth it"?

nah....yeah...but, nah

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 10:11am

With respect, something 'has' been done. They were protected in 1990s, 4% increase per year. We have already picked the winner.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 7:10pm

are you saying we should un-do some of that?

nah....yeah...but, nah

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 8:57pm

Is the ecosystem we are creating similar to the goal we want? What is the goal we want? Is the ecosystem similar to what it was before industrialisation? Or is it something else? Are we seeing other shark species being outcompeted (burp!) by GWS? Are we seeing a flourishing of the marine ecosystem across the board or are certain stocks still fished heavily, or depleted? Are depleted stocks in the open ocean occurring? If so, are they affecting near-shore ecosystems? Are we creating our own imbalances? What is the truth of the fecundity of the GWS? Did we make an incorrect assumption when it was protected? Why did we protect it without knowing the numbers of sharks? How do we manage saltwater crocodiles? How do we manage dingoes? Is a comparison valid, given there are deaths occurring? Are we seeing a statistically meaningful increase in attacks and deaths? What do we determine as the true reason for this?

Perhaps it's time for a review of the policy. Good policy, not reviewed, can have inadvertent consequences, eg the Button Plan.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 7:45am

very good questions VJ.

everest's picture
everest's picture
everest commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:56am

The shark shield fits in your tail pad and has a stick on antenna for the bottom of your board. It doesn't weigh much and doesn't affect my surfing. I do notice a slight pulse when I'm paddling with no wetsuit (not when sitting on the board or with a wetsuit) and feel it in my teeth when duck diving particularly if I've had a big night (but who isn't a bit sensitive at those times) but the negatives are far outweighed by the risk mitigation for me. When I go to Indo I take the battery pack out and there is a foam insert to use instead of the battery pack which makes it almost exactly the same size and weight as a normal tail pad.
People sometimes tell me I'm attracting sharks by using it and I politely refer them to the science and wish them best of luck removing their alien anal probes.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:00pm

What about if you have multiple different surfboards?

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:15pm

thats what I was going to ask Don.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:32pm

And their website says "For surfboards 6'6" and over."

My two go to boards are 5'6" and 5'8"!!!! :(

EDIT: Just read they have a shortboard version but it's electric field is smaller meaning shark will likely come closer. Also said you may get shock when duck diving....why only went duck diving and not when sitting on board?

And not surpisingly they're sold out!!!

Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 4:08pm

Extra antenna's / pads cost $169 (used to be a rebate available in WA and used to cost $99 - not sure currently) and you can interchange the battery pack with as many boards as you like. I have 3 boards with antennas - haven't bothered with the long boards as I only surf them in the small stuff close to shore.
The Shortboard version has the same field intensity apparently. Any range decrease would be minimal. Also there is a wider "Orange" field around the "red" closer field in which many interested sharks will simply turn away at a greater distance. It appears shark shield has been conservative in their advertising (hard to believe I know!).
I spoke to the sales manager this morning and they are getting more stock in November - electronic components which go into the pack have been unavailable due to Covid.
I guess the duck diving issue may come from being fully immersed with the field. Its not really a shock - more of a tingle. If you put your hand under the board you get a bit of jolt but its really pretty mild and actually nice to know that its working! Also wakes you up if you were a bit groggy.
The battery lasts more than 4 hours for me (and I've used it about once a week on average for over a year) so no issues there.

I have no relationship with Shark shield other than supporting sensible shark attack mitigation options that work.

There is no clear scientific evidence that culling sharks reduces attacks - there is data supporting arguments both for and against culling. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shark_culling
https://theconversation.com/mike-baird-is-right-culling-sharks-doesnt-wo...
What is clear is that culling is a popular political response which makes people feel better even if it doesn't have any scientifically provable effect.

There is clear scientific evidence that shark shields reduce the incidence of attacks.

Now that people have some of the facts perhaps they'd like to look a bit deeper and make some informed decisions about how best to deal with the risks. If killing sharks doesn't achieve a safer surf spot but just makes science deniers feel a bit better I suggest that they stop surfing and please stop banging on about killing all the sharks for no reason.

ozracer's picture
ozracer's picture
ozracer commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 10:13am

2019 wasn't too bad attack wise in nth NSW following the run of gw attacks starting late 2014. Was back in the water with my son but things are on hold again after numerous nudges, bumps and attacks so far this year. The whale migration brings with it high numbers of gw's for their annual feast and heightened risk for ocean users. Time to review gw protection laws, in this country at least.

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 10:27am

Yesterday on the GC, I saw a bloke surfing with a bracelet around his ankle, I thought old mate was an offender of some sort and it was a GPS tracking device imposed by the criminal justice system. Thanks to “everest” I realise I was wrong, it was a magnetic shark repellent bracelet.

Each to their own, whatever gives you a sense of security….

Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 1:54pm

Sense of security is about all he would get from a magnetic repellant unfortunately according to this article:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120439/

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 3:44pm

Interesting, thanks Hamish!

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 11:00am

Loving the links Udo!

_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_'s picture
_Bodhi_ commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 12:56pm

Thanks Udo! Hmm, the bracelet seems like a bit of a sham...

garyg1412's picture
garyg1412's picture
garyg1412 commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 2:30pm

Speaking to a mate that uses one and he gets a sense of security wearing his except he said that apparently they don't repel white pointers. I felt a cynical reply coming on about whether they would repel a Kissing Gourami but let it be. Anyway the following is from the FAQ section of their website:

"Great Whites rely heavily on their electroreception when swimming in open water, and Sharkbanz could effectively deter an investigating Great White.
However, it's important to note that Great Whites are unique in that they are the only shark that acts as an ambush predator, attacking from a long distance at high speed. There is no effective way to prevent this type of ambush attack."

Bit of mumbo jumbo basically confirming your bracelet will probably disappear with most of your leg below the knee.

killragtshirts's picture
killragtshirts's picture
killragtshirts commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 10:35am

Could be just coincidence but no fatalities when the aerial choppers were in force together with other mitigation strategies and 2 or 3 weeks after they stop there was the Kingscliff tragedy. Now we have almost daily sightings, bumps etc etc up here in Nth NSW/GC. Yes heaps of marine life activity to go with it but maybe the choppers did set them off in another direction and not closer to shore????? Maybe time to get em back up there and see?

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 12:12pm

I do wonder how many GWS sightings are incorrect - that is, it's actually a bull or bronzey. In the cool, calm, and collected light of day (or Google Images) the differences certainly appear obvious. But after being bumped from a broad, panicking, water being thrashed about....

The reliability of eye witness accounts are one of the lowest forms of evidence is all I'm....pointing out.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2351989418302476

I've only had two encounters so far....
One around 2007 at Broadbeach (surf outer bank on my own, felt shifty, decided to paddle in, a little voice in my head said look behind you, I stopped and sat up and that caused the owner of the fin following me to dart away...confirmed by "old mate" when I got back to the pack who said he'd said the shark had been ghosting me for at least 5 minutes.... fuck thanks for the heads up mate!

Second was last year up near Teewah...late arvo..surfing on my own...saw it cruising from north-south towards me. Very slowing. I was on a 9'7 log so thought about paddling towards it. Every time I've seen one up there (from safety of beach) it was cruising in a fairly straight line north-south/south-north right along where waves start breaking (including one that morning!). I thought better of it and paddled in. Judging by size, narrowness, and long top tail fin I'd say a bronzey (1.5+m, definitely not more than 2m, mind you I was facing it head on) looking for mullet and stingrays.

nah....yeah...but, nah

ryn_kng's picture
ryn_kng's picture
ryn_kng commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 8:57pm

I find it interesting that when people have encounters it’s not uncommon for them to report of something ‘not feeling right’ beforehand.
I sometimes wonder if there is some sort of sense that we are not aware of that we have slowly lost through evolution, sometimes doing a little work in the background with us none the wiser. We did crawl out of the ocean millions of years ago didn’t we?

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:15pm

Hey R.K. I agree and there's a forum somewhere in the guts of swellnet where contributors regularly talk about these 'dark' feelings. I've had a few shark encounters and they've all ended well obviously, but the scariest one was the one i didn't see. It was Port MacDonnell in Sth Oz a couple of years ago. A grey and rainy morning at a local reef and i was out alone. All of a sudden i got the biggest heebie jeebies came over me. I felt completely alone and sad and in despair. It was a really heavy feeling and a feeling of complete blackness that i couldn't explain, and i've never had in the surf in 30 odd years of surfing. So i naturally came in on instinct. Later that day i was in the local supermarket and saw the local rag on the rack...front page.....whale carcass washed up on the beach that i was surfing. 5 white pointers seen feeding off it. There was no signage at the beach. i had no idea. I can only guess something had me in it's sights and my instinct got me out of there. Cheers for bringing this up cos i reckon it's our number one defense in those kind of situations. yew!

ryn_kng's picture
ryn_kng's picture
ryn_kng commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:29pm

Exactly! A feeling that we would be smart to not ignore, I wonder if it’s ever been studied.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 9:39pm

Theres a heap of good reading on Sixth Sense out there.

bluediamond's picture
bluediamond's picture
bluediamond commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 10:04pm

Bloody cutting it fine when it comes to relying on it! Yeah i reckon we as humans have a whole lot of stuff that has been supressed through institutionalisation and rationalisation. But that's a whole nutha story. Love your thinking legends. (Udo,,RK)

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 10:19am

The black feeling, yep, got it so hard paddling back out in the sweep of a not-to-be named SW WA reef. Mate in car on headland (out with flu) says "Did you see that pack of bronzies out the back? & I wonder if something more...

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 12:16pm

Mowgli I just use the DPI sharksmart site.

Data from that is pretty certain as to species ID, either using tagged GWS to set off pings or sightings from drones or choppers.

It's very easy to ID whites with their very pointed snouts and pectoral girdles in clear water.

High degree of confidence in that DPI data.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:35pm

Though not having seen the DPIs data, I would have confidence in it.

But I'm talking more the people involved in an incident. Even the time from incident to spotting with a chopper etc would be significant enough to throw scientific doubt on whether the GWS (or any other shark species of concern for that matter) was indeed the exact one involved in the incident. And I am talking historically here too, as I'm sure as we move to a situation where there is either constant surveillance at popular beaches or near-instant drone deployment the gap between "surfer said it was X species" to "the drone confirmed X species 3 minutes within the same beach compartment after incident occurred" will close considerably.

nah....yeah...but, nah

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 3:09pm

It's incredibly hard to mistake a GWS if you see one up close, even harder if it leaves bite marks or teeth in the board.

Could you give me an example of what you mean?

I don't see much evidence that there is a whole lot of mistaken identity happening.

And a whole heap of very compelling evidence from a range of credible sources that white sharks are behind the majority of these incidents.

But if you have something other than a hunch I'd love to hear it.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 12:25pm

Just a hunch that stems from [heat of the moment] X [delay between incident and shark spotting by authorities] X [possibility of public perception it's always a GWS, which then risks becoming self-reinforcing].

Obviously shape of bite (if complete) and especially tooth are enough to confirm.

Anyway. I'm not standing on scientific ground. Just saying - nay, really only wondering - eye witness testimony is considered one of the least reliable forms of evidence in a legal setting and wonder why it shouldn't also apply in these instances.

nah....yeah...but, nah

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 12:36pm

I think because the eyewitness testimony is only one plank and there are currently many planks making up the evidence, including some that are extremely solid scientifically.

I thought that 10-15 years ago when the sightings/incidents first started- oh, it's mistaken identity, people don't know etc etc

now, there's enough very solid evidence to dispel those thoughts.

Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 1:51pm

Here is an interesting article regarding effectiveness of 5 deterrents:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120439/
I note that only the Shark shield has any proven effect.
I highly encourage people to do their own research and not succumb to the carpark banter regarding effectiveness.
I understand that Rpela has changed the frequency it uses and is presently looking to get independent testing done however I haven't seen the research yet.
I know Shark shield works and I know that many of the other devices don't so I'm sticking with what has been proven for the mean time.

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:22pm

Very good article thanks Hamish.

Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 3:33pm

From the article:
The rise in shark-human interactions has also led to the emergence of many new personal shark deterrents. The rapid commercial availability of these deterrents has preceded rigorous and peer-reviewed studies to test the effectiveness of these devices, meaning that manufacturers are making claims about their products without rigorous scientific evidence to back them up. If deterrents were not as effective as advertised, it could potentially give users a false sense of security, leading some people to put themselves at greater risk of shark interactions than they normally would because of their reliance on these devices. For example, some surfers and spearfishers might ignore other mitigation measures, such as beach closures, because they feel safe when wearing these products. Whether they are or not is what we aim to demonstrate in this study.

topgeer's picture
topgeer's picture
topgeer commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:18pm

Most salient point to consider.....
"He had heard reports sharks can be attracted by the foil board's vibrations."
Hmm...

donweather's picture
donweather's picture
donweather commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 2:23pm

However he wasn't riding the foil at the time (ie the foil wasn't being ridden) of the attack so this refutes the vibration/attraction if you ask me.

luke37's picture
luke37's picture
luke37 commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 3:17pm

Stoked you're still alive to raise your boys Christian!

Can someone tell me what GWSs do in the ocean that non-man-eating sharks or humans cannot do instead?

Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott's picture
Hamishrscott commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 8:10pm

Bit arrogant to think the world revolves around human's hobbies don't you think?
Can I assume that you are in favour of culling all Great Whites?
Wiping out a species for a hobby may lead to regret.
Suggesting it then being called out could lead to self reflection.
That would be great but I'm not holding my breath.

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 11:28am

Wow. Black or white. So do you think sharks should be allowed to kill all the humans on earth and wipe the whole species out. blar blar blar

everest's picture
everest's picture
everest commented Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 7:55pm

The question was why do we need Great Whites? The context was GWS cause issues for surfers.
My point was that killing sharks for surfers peace of mind may be seen as arrogant.
Culling has no clear scientific proof as being effective in reducing attacks - there is evidence for and against. Shark shields are scientifically proven to reduce attacks.
Killing a few GWS to make the average punter feel better isn't the end of the world but it doesn't fix the problem.

Jof's picture
Jof's picture
Jof commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 7:42am

Have as many stabs as you would like. I was responding to what you wrote and how hysterical it was. but, but, but. Who cares.

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 5:48pm

Hahaha, an original querey!! Predate on the plague of NewZealand fur seals? And that's about it?

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Monday, 21 Sep 2020 at 5:53pm

...Eat rotting whales that would wash up on shore&lure more sharks?

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 10:25am

Perform the role of apex predator over a temperature/inshore/pelagic range that no other species can fill.

zenagain's picture
zenagain's picture
zenagain commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 10:44am

I posted this here a year or so ago as it kinda gels with what the blokes above are talking about in regards to that sixth sense feeling you get sometimes. I still reckon to this day I was lucky-

"I paddled out at Waddy point on Fraser a few years ago alone. Right on sunset, side-shore, murky water, bait fish popping everywhere. I caught a shitty little wave paddled back out and sat. Just kinda taking in the sunset and emptiness, just my car alone on the sand and then this bone chilling shiver went through me, I can't describe it. Probably be silly to be out there to begin with but every fibre of my being said get the blazes out of there and fast.

I paddled in and belly rode a little wave into the shore.

I walked up to the car, dried off and drank a beer. Didn't see anything but knew somehow that at that moment I was on borrowed time.

I've had a couple of encounters in my surfing life but not seeing anything was the one that scared me the most and probably the only time i've ever paddled in."

1173

frog's picture
frog's picture
frog commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 3:28pm

I was out at Fingal Head one day about 12 years ago and had a fun surf but then got swept by tide and drift north into very deep water and into a weird current and eddy not that far north of the point but very much on my own. Some stray peaks were breaking not too far away on the end of the bank so I still had hopes for snagging one last wave in.

Off the point the water was clean and clear. At this spot it was green, opaque and just smelt like oily fish soup.

I felt very uncomfortable and exposed. I paddled south getting no-where hoping for that one last wave. But in the end spent a good half hour wasting time and taking an (unknown) level of risk all for some shitty fat peak when all my instincts said get out of there. But that was pre-GWS population explosion - they would have been babies back then. I was thinking more of bronzies or Bull Sharks. Today I would probably not even be in the water there and if I was, I would have been heading for the beach as soon as I moved off the bank.

The things you do for such a minor (one last so so wave) pleasure...

Frogg

tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir's picture
tomrnoir commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 1:44pm

Paddled out at a south-facing pocket this morning - as I got out the back, I realised 50 or so birds were 100m further offshore, making a huge fuss. Overcast conditions, the water had a fishy smell and blokes were fishing from the beach.

Wouldn't have thought anything of it a few months ago, but decided to head in without catching a wave. Super edgy, I am at the moment.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 2:22pm

Anyone ever out and you get a burst of super 'fishy' smell with no apparent cause? Seemingly no bait fish around, nothing of note.

I always get a thinkin' when that happens.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 2:31pm

all the time.

bait fish are super abundant, especially with the major reduction in commercial fishing effort, mostly prawn trawlers, in NSW.

thats a lot of biomass that is not being scraped up.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 2:54pm

We used to get slicks of dead rabbit fat off the cray pots in WA...

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 4:16pm

Solitude, very frequently.

I've done no research on this. But purely eye-balling attack stats (so, more likely, interpreting them erroneously), I can't help but notice spikes during La Nina periods (when there's a lot more warmer water closer to the eastern seaboard) and more permanent upward step-changes with the surf pop culture explosion in 80s/early 90s and then again early noughts (with popularity of films like Blue Crush and Step Into Liquid in particular. The latter in particular had a profound effect on my non-surfer friends giving it a go).

Last La Nina period heaps of baitfish and mackerel would come in pretty close to the open beaches up this way. I remember having birds dive bombing them. A few groups got within a dozen meters of me. My logic at the time was (is?) the sharks are interested in the fish, not me. Might need to change that policy now that I'm answerable to more than just myself...

nah....yeah...but, nah

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 4:40pm

The 2015 horror year was an El Nino year.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 7:16pm

well there goes that theory.

I'll take 'up tick in ocean users for $10' please Burgo.

nah....yeah...but, nah

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 7:43pm

Try again.

for most of that winter there was hardly anyone in the water.

Here's a thought experiment.

A white shark swims along two hypothetical 10k stretches of coast with 3 surf spots, one with small groups of 3-4surfers each, the other crowded with 40-50 surfers each.

Which coastline has the highest risk of attack?

If you took the small groups for 10, you are spot on.

there goes the uptick in ocean users theory. destroyed by the reality that most attacks happen on small groups, not large numbers.

less people using the water is more dangerous and likely to suffer attacks than more usage.

mowgli's picture
mowgli's picture
mowgli commented Wednesday, 23 Sep 2020 at 1:12pm

I just meant a general increase in the number of people "getting into surfing", not bigger groups.

My rationale being more people surfing = more likelihood of smaller groups forming. This could be due to the absolute increase in total number of surfers; but possibly also the result of a broader behavioural change whereby the proportion of small groups has increased relative to the proportion comprising larger groups, as a result of the overall increase in surfers/density in popular locations (i.e. more breakaway groups forming/people surfing solo as they get the shits with more people surfing). I would certainly place myself in this category. I used to have no qualms surfing in a packed lineup, or medium crowd. But not a peak with any more than 10 people on it and I'm brokering silent deals with Lucifer to have one or two of them to suddenly be on the receiving end of a bluebottle's kiss/vowing to never surf out front of the carpark again.

Feel me?

nah....yeah...but, nah

Tick's picture
Tick's picture
Tick commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 5:04pm

Were they able to get an ID from tooth?

booman's picture
booman's picture
booman commented Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 6:04pm

Time to protect the local kids/families and local business, with a general cull inc great white adjustment.

NSWs lack of a action will effect over the border also.

A shame the drone disappeared from Sharps beach too.. seemed a sensible idea.

Talking to a local fisherman, he describes the situation as absolutely out of control with big sharks including huge GWs after 25 years+ of protection. These guys are often more in the know that university scientists which is why the scientists often asked them for information/to accompany them or often ask for them to be part of a marine biology thesis. A problem is also that marine biologists are generally on the side of the fish (yes need some of that - overfishing..) so it would be much harder to get an unbiased peer reviewed study of current shark population increases and sensible human protection measures.... giving a. shark an electronic badge only showing when in range of a buoy is just ridiculous.. and ineffective.

Over 100 000 000 sharks are estimated to be caught for food each year.

4 people, including 1 child.

I don't think it is a good idea to just "wait for the next one"

The fisherman say they used to be able to keep things in control back in the day, now they cannot.

Réunion Island ended up banning surfing, things got so bad.

tlearyus's picture
tlearyus's picture
tlearyus commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 8:14am

I went surfing at 6am on Sunday morning at Scotts Head near the 4wheel drive track and waited for 20m because it felt sharky and nobody else was out yet. I eventually paddled out against my instincts and less than 10m later I came off a small crappy wave and when I got back to my board i kicked something hard and fleshy. I didn't see it, but am pretty sure it was a shark. Needless to say I got the hell out of the water. Lesson, always trust your instincts!

Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw's picture
Ray Shirlaw commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 9:09am

Yeah I dunno,I'm scared shitless every solo surf for30 years&yet nothings happened

Ronson's picture
Ronson's picture
Ronson commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 11:59am

Those times when you think you are surfing in a tin of sardines doesn't leave much to instinct. Go in. Or don't go out in the first place.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Thursday, 24 Sep 2020 at 2:24pm

question about the shark shield tail pad or kicker.....seems really high ...so are they hard to get used to or a complete pain in the arse by stumbling over it.?...i dont use tail pads anymore so any info on it would be appreciated.

simba

Patrick's picture
Patrick's picture
Patrick commented Saturday, 3 Oct 2020 at 11:26am

It appears Ocean Ramsey is saying GoPros & other small electrical devices might attract bites from sharks:

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3766760070001345&id=57438147...