Surfer launched into air in shark attack – 25 September 2017 — North Point, Gracetown, West Australia

Catherine Visser
Catherine Visser

Catherine Vissers, 28, escaped injury when a Great White shark struck her surfboard from underneath launching her into the air.

The 3.5 metre shark left bite marks in her board.

The incident happened just before 6pm at the North Point surf spot, near Gracetown, southwest Australia on Monday 25 September 2017.

Surfer Tom Van Beem was the only other person in the water at the time. He’s quoted in the press as saying:

Tom Van Beem
Tom Van Beem

“I felt the water move underneath me and then all of a sudden the girl next to me was knocked off her board by this huge shark.

“She’s just sort of got knocked up and over and there was a big splash and then I saw the shark’s body follow with the pectoral fin and the tail.

“The shark came out of the water and landed in between us.

“I was only a few meters away.

“I’m a lifeguard, and I have some training for shark situations, so the first thing I did was ask if she was OK; I knew that if the shark had hit one of her major arteries, she would have only had a minute or so before she’d pass out from blood loss.

“Once she said she was OK, we paddled 50 meters straight to the rocks, floated over the barnacles, and scurried up as fast as possible.

“I just put my head down and paddled as fast as I could.

“I had this sinking feeling that it was going to hit me, but we’re very lucky that no one was injured and everyone’s fine, just a few minor dings on her board.

“It must have had its mouth open because there was three pretty big teeth marks in her board.

“She was pretty rattled, tearing up, just kind of in shock I guess. I think we all were.

“If it wanted to, it could’ve taken a big limb or something like that.

Catherine's surfboard with shark bite marks
Catherine’s surfboard with shark bite marks

Catherine, from Belgium, told Dutch newspaper Nieuwsblad: “Ik heb er niets van gezien. Ik dacht dat het een stomme dolfijn was. (I didn’t see anything. I thought it was a dumb dolphin.)

Her father was quoted as saying when he asked her if she would go back in the water she said: “Oh Dad, I’ve been attacked. The chance that a shark will hit me again, is minimal.”

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Youtube: Tom Van Beem decribes of the shark attack

 

 

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Shark bites surfer – 24 September 2017 – Lake Worth beach, Florida, US

The pier at Lake Worth beach, Florida, US
The pier at Lake Worth beach, Florida, US

A surfer suffered minor wounds to his to his right arm after being bitten by a shark while surfing at Lake Worth beach, Florida, US on Sunday 24 September 2017.

the minor wound on the right arm of the unidentified shark bite victim
The minor wound on the right arm of the unidentified shark bite victim

According to the press report, the surfer and witnesses said the shark was engaging a school of bait fish and bit the surfer by mistake.

The surfer’s name was not released.

Another surfer in the water at the time said he saw what appeared to be an eight-to-ten foot shark just before the surfer was bitten. The shark species was not named.

Surfers in the water helped the shark bite victim to shore where he was treated by lifeguards and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue before being taken to a local hospital.

No other details were reported.

 

 

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Samoan fisherman attacked by shark – 15 September 2017 – Upolu, Samoa

In a very brief report, the Sunday Samoan newspaper reports that a young man was fishing in the lagoon off Upolu island in the Samoan archipelago on Friday afternoon 15 September 2017 when he was attacked by a shark.

 

The young man from the village of Nofoali’i on the north coast of the island sustained injuries to his hands and legs. A local villager helped him before he was taken to Leulumoega District Hospital in a serious condition.

The villager said: “I’ve been told that the shark came out of nowhere while the young man was trying to get a fish he had caught.”

No other details were reported.

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Shark flings surfer into the air – 10 September 2017 – Iluka, New South Wales, Australia

Abe McGrath shows the shark bite mark in his surfboard that was snapped with the impact of the attack.
Abe McGrath shows the shark bite mark in his surfboard that was snapped with the impact of the attack.

Abe McGrath, 35, was surfing with friends early on Sunday morning, 10 September 2017, at Main Beach, Iluka, New South Wales, Australia when he was attacked by a 3.5 metre Great White shark.

The incident happened around 6am. McGrath was lying on his board about 300m north of the Illuka Wall.

The shark attacked from underneath and flung McGrath into the air. His board was snapped in half with the impact. McGrath landed back in the water and was fortunate to come away with a torn wetsuit and relatively minor lacerations to his right hip.

“He was laying on his board and he got attacked from below really aggressively, the force of the attack snapped his board,”  McGrath’s friend Bryce Cameron, who was on the beach and about to head into the water when the attack occurred, said.

“The impact lifted him up. The shark was coming from the deep and hit (Abe’s board) with its nose and opened its mouth and latched on the board.

Cameron said shark got most of the board in its mouth.

“He [McGrath] got a good look at it. He said it was a 3.5m white pointer. In the big scheme of things that is a juvenile but it is still big enough to kill.”

Abe McGrath show the minor wound on his hip
Abe McGrath shows his torn wetsuit and the minor wound on his hip – from the the shark attack.

McGrath said the shark circled him after the attack and then swam off.

With the help of his friend Elijah ‘Hobbit’ Colbey, he retrieved one half of his surfboard and paddled to shore. His friends drove him to Ballina Hospital and he was then flown to Lismore Hospital, New South Wales, for further treatment and discharged Sunday night.

Cameron was on the beach during the attack and said if McGrath had been sitting on the board instead of lying on it when the shark struck, he would have lost his leg.

Cameron posted this on Instagram: “Life could of been very different this morning…. so stoked to still have our mate and not witness something far worse. Our arrival to iluka this morning, @abemcgrath hit by a juvenile white pointer. So stoked to see him able to limp up the beach.”

“Abe was left floating in the water with a couple of teeth marks on his body. He scrambled in the water and got washed in by the next wave.”

“He is pretty much the luckiest man on earth right now,” Cameron said.

“He was stoked, he wasn’t in shock yet, he was really happy to be alive and in front of his mates. We were all giving him big hugs and felt pretty lucky to have him there.”

 

Colbey, the only other surfer in the water with McGrath at the time, was quoted as saying:

“We were 50m apart and it was just me and him out there.

“A good wave rolled past, we were both watching it, and then I looked back and saw Abe skimming across the water splashing.

“Then I hear f**k off, f**k off and then my nickname Hobbit being called out.

“I started paddling towards him for help and then my mind clicked to it being the worst possible outcome.”

“I grabbed his two broken bits of surfboard and we looked at each other and counted our blessings that we could actually walk away.

“He was very stoked to be able to walk up the beach with me … we could look back on it and be very stoked but also shaken up and in shock.”

 

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Surfer punches shark, escapes attack – 25 August 2017 – Cathedral Rock, Lorne, Victoria, Australia

Marcel Brundler stands with his surfboard that has bite marks from the shark attack at Iluka, Victoria, Australia
Marcel Brundler stands with his board that has bite marks from the shark attack.
Marcel Brundler points to the shark bite marks on his surfboard
Marcel Brundler points to the shark bite marks on his surfboard

Marcel Brundler, 37, narrowly escaped a shark attack while surfing at Cathedral Rock, Lorne, Victoria, Australia, by punching the shark as it attacked him. The shark left bite marks in his board and tore at his wetsuit, but he suffered no injuries.

Brundler told media the shark was a 3-metre Great White.

The incident happened on Tuesday 25 August 2017.

He said initially he thought the shark was a dolphin, “but then I realised fairly quickly [it was a shark] because it was more than half a metre wide, with a massive dorsal fin, and it looked at me.

“Then it kind of dived off, came back and circled me, and took a fair notch out of my board, circled me again, then it got me on my wetsuit, it got me on my hip.

“Luckily, it’s just a little scrape on my skin.”

“I was shouting and punching it while it attacked me.

“I was really, really lucky this wave popped up out of nowhere,” which he managed to catch and surf it to the shore.

Lucas Von Graevenitz Sanchez, a witness who watched the attack through his binoculars from the shore, was quoted as saying the shark “was really massive”.

A local police spokesperson said there were four surfers in the water at the time and they paddled in pretty quickly after the incident.

Brundler said he would surf again, though “maybe not on my own”.

 

 

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