Shark bites surfer on the shoulder

2017 shark attack bite_Avooca Beach_NSW_Charlie Fry

A surfer was bitten on his shoulder by a shark in Australia.

Dr. Charlie Fry was surfing with two friends off Avoca Beach in NSW November 13.

The 25-year-old was around 22 yards from shore when he started paddling for a wave and was knocked off his board by a shark just before 4 p.m.

“I saw its jaw and teeth coming at me,” Dr. Fry told the Daily Telegraph. “I just punched it with my left hand and shouted out to my mates and paddled so hard back to shore.”

The British citizen, who has been living in Australia, made it back to the beach.

2017 shark attack bite_Avooca Beach_NSW_Charlie Fry
Dr. Fry’s shark bite wound. Photo Charlie Fry

Life guards treated the minor puncture wounds on the beach, but Fry declined medical transportation. He chose to be taken to Gosford Hospital by his fellow surfers who are also doctors.

“It was terrifying, but it only lasted five seconds. I’ll get to tell the story for the rest of my life,” he said.

The beaches were temporarily closed, while Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters searched the area. An estimated 7-foot shark, probably a bronze whaler, was spotted in the area.

Bait fish had been spotted in the deep channel area where Fry was surfing and may have attracted the shark to the area.

Related: Shark Attack Prevention Guide

This is the sixth shark attack bite in New South Wales for 2017.

On October 27, an unidentified man was bitten by a wobbegong shark at Birubi Beach. The 31-year-old man was bleeding heavily from the puncture wound on his foot, and was taken to the John Hunter Hospital.

Abe McGrath was at Main Beach off Iluka September 10, when a great white attacked. The 35-year-old was lying on his board approximately 328 yards north of the Illuka wall when the shark shot up from underneath. The shark broke McGrath’s board in half and he went flying into the air. He sustained minor injuries to his right hip.

On April 2, a 46-year-old man was bitten on the left foot and calf near Samurai Point.  The unidentified man had minor lacerations.

Gonzalo Mompo Fernandez was bodyboarding off Killalea State Park March 19, when he was bitten on the bum and inner thigh. The 30-year-old had minor injuries and did not seek medical treatment.

Mitchell Collins was bitten by a suspected bronze whaler shark on the foot while swimming at Merimbula Main Beach January 4.

There have been a total of 96* shark attack bites in 2017, 7 of which were fatal*; 46 were reported in the US, with 32 occurring in Florida** and two in Hawaii. Fifteen have been reported in Australia, one of which was fatal. Five unconfirmed worldwide and not included in the total count.

All locations have been marked on the 2017 Shark Attack Map.

*Two may be scavenge. **One report may have been outside of Florida waters.

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