A surfer is lucky to leave the water unharmed after a great white shark attacked him in New South Wales, Australia.
Mike Bruton, 29, was waiting on his last wave of the afternoon near Seal Rocks when he was hit by a great white shark Oct. 5.
“Out of nowhere – (it) just rammed me from straight underneath,” he told 9News.
His surf leash snapped as he flew through the air and was separated from his board. Looking down, he saw the massive shark responsible..
“You couldn’t wrap your arms around it – it was that big. It was huge,” he said.
Fortunately, he was able to swim back to his board.
“I just jumped on my board, pretty freaked out by it all. Yeah, sitting there for a little while trying to get a wave in and thinking that next bite was about to come and luckily it didn’t,” he said.
Even though his short board had been badly damaged, he was able to make it back to shore.
“I didn’t realise there was a big chunk missing until I got onto the sand,” he said. “It’s just very lucky it got my board and not me.”
Based on a bite mark left on the board, the shark is estimated to be around 11 1/2 feet (3.5 m) long or larger. Thankfully, Bruton left the water relatively unharmed and only has a sore abdomen and ribs to account for the adventure.
Great whites will often ambush prey and shoot from below the surface to stun prey.
White sharks prefer fatty nutrient rich foods such as seals and other pinnipeds. While humans are not on the menu due to our bony structures, misidentifications occur. A surfer floating on a board can appear to be a fat seal when viewed from below.
Bruton won’t let the event stop him from surfing, even though the incident left him feeling like he had been hit by a bus.
There have been a total of 80 shark attack bites (72 with injury, 20 of which are considered provoked*) publicly reported and verified in 2019.
All locations have been marked on the 2019 Shark Attack Map.
Five fatal**; 46 were reported in the U.S. (including one
fatal), with 24 occurring in Florida (4 provoked) 14 in Hawaii (3 no
injury, 4 provoked, 1 fatal) and 3 in California (2 no injury). Thirteen have
been reported in Australia, zero fatal. Four unconfirmed bites worldwide are
not included in the total count.
*Provoked defined as spearfishing, feeding sharks, fishing, etc. (listed with green marker).
**One possible scavenge
Shark attacks by location in Australia :
Western Australia: 2 (1 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed: 0.
Northern Territory: 2 (0 no injury, 2 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Queensland: 4 (0 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 2.
New South Wales: 5 (2 no injury, 1 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
South Australia: 0 (0 no injury, 0 provoked), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.
Victoria: 0 (0 no injury, 0 provoked)), Fatal: 0, Unconfirmed 0.