13-foot tiger shark attacks kayak in Queensland

A man paddling his kayak off Sunshine Coast, Queensland, had a shocking experience Nov. 14 when a 13-foot tiger shark attacked.

Kyle Roberts, 31, was floating in his boat around 6:50 a.m. about a mile off Moffat Beach when his kayak was hit so hard by the shark, he was knocked out of it and into the water.

“It hit side-on with such force it ejected me and flipped the kayak,” he told The Courier Mail. “I landed in the water about [seven feet] away and looked to see it locked on to the middle part.”

“It let go and disappeared. I swam over and inspected the damage. I could put my fingers in the holes left by its teeth.’’

Roberts held onto the sinking craft but became nervous when the shark began circling him. Although the shark lunged at Roberts, it missed and hit the boat.

Roberts was able to use his emergency radio to contact rescuers from the partially-submerged kayak.

“He was a long way out. The sun was beaming on the water and I was really struggling to find him. But I managed to spot him, a little speck floating up and down. It wasn’t easy,” said Jacob Thomson from Surf Life Saving. “I was on the headland with some binoculars looking out as best I could and we had some jet skis covering quite a significant area.

“I just happened to spot him with the binoculars and directed our jet skis over to him as best we could.”

Roberts was spotted by another kayaker who came to his aid and the duo were picked up by lifeguards.

The two were dropped off at the beach about 45 minutes after Roberts called for help.

“It’s lucky he had that radio with him, otherwise I think we’d be talking about something different this morning,” Thomson added.

The odds of a shark attack bite are extremely slim, and a real danger for anyone on the water can be changing weather patterns.

Tracking Sharks recommends that paddlers venturing into the ocean should always carry emergency gear. Items should include, but not be limited to, a marine radio, cell phone, signal mirror and signal flares. Kayakers and boaters should alert a loved one or friend about their departure and expected return times.

There have been a total of 95 shark attack bites (69 with injury, 20 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2018. Five fatal**; 33 were reported in the U.S (including one fatal), with 13 occurring in Florida and 3 in Hawaii. Twenty-five have been reported in Australia, one fatal. Eight unconfirmed bites, worldwide, not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2018 Shark Attack Tracking Map.

*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**Three possible scavenge

Australia Breakdown:
Western Australia: 9 (4 no injury), Fatal: 0,  Unconfirmed: 2.
Northern Territory: 1 (1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Queensland: 7 (3 provoked), Fatal: 1
New South Wales: 8 (2 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 1.
South Australia: 0, Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Victoria: 2 (1 no injury), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.

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