Beaches closed after man charged by shark

Several beaches have been closed after a man said he was charged by a shark.

2018-shark_attack_bite_Robert Frostland was at Lorne Beach, Victoria, Australia March 2

Robert Crossland was on his daily swim at Lorne Beach, Victoria, Australia March 9.

Around 3:30 p.m. he said he witnessed an estimated 11-foot long shark thrashing in the water.

The 69-year-old watched the shark by keeping his eyes open under the water.

“First thing I saw was the fin, it circled around me then came straight at me,” Mr Crossland told 9News. “I was just treading water, waiting for it each time, it circled six or seven times, punched each time, it swam around came back. I was waiting for the jaws to open.”

The shark finally left and Crossland was able to swim back to shore.

“I believe in fate, karma and the lord…someone is watching over me,” he said. Then added he thinks his pink board let the shark know he wasn’t a seal.

“You never swim away from it because that’s when they come after you,” he said.

Crossland was uninjured, but several beaches have been closed. Ocean-goers have been advised to stay out of the water from Fairhaven to Wye River.

Earlier that morning a surfer was nipped by a bronze whaler.

Lachie Brown, 18, was sitting on his surfboard around 7:30 a.m. at Winkipop on the Jan Juc side of Bells Beach when a nearly 6-foot long shark popped up.

The roughly 6- to 8-foot shark nipped the surfers leg and tore his wetsuit. The wetsuit took the bunt of the force and Brown was left with a minor abrasion.

A similar situation occurred in the same location last year.

Marcel Brundler had been hitting the waves August 29 off Cathedral Rock near Lorne.

The 37-year-old was talking to his surfing partner as they floated 10 to 15 meters offshore in the water, when an estimated 10-foot long shark popped out of the water.

He made the decision to stay calm and watch the shark as it circled him. He said the shark looked at him as it turned around and bit.

Brundler was wearing a thick wetsuit along with a vest as protection against cold waters. The suit also provided a barrier between the shark’s teeth and the surfer’s skin.

He began punching the shark on its head until it let go.  There was blood on his board and he thought the shark may have cut itself on the fiberglass board.

The shark continued to circle until Brundler caught what he called the best wave of his life and rode to safety.

While his board has several large teeth marks, the Swiss national came away with only a minor scratch on his back.

There have been a total of 11 shark attack bites* in 2018, 0 of which were fatal**; 0 were reported in the US, with 0 occurring in Florida and 0 in Hawaii. Six have been reported in Australia, none of which was fatal. One unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.

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

*Four with no injury

Updated 03/12/18



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