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

 

 

Sources:

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”.

 

 

Sources:

Paddle boarder knocked off board, bitten by shark – 25 July 2017 – Ascension Island, Atlantic Ocean

Kawika Matsu, 37, from Hawaii, was paddle boarding about 90 metres from shore in English Bay on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean when what he says was a 12-14 foot great white shark knocked him off his board and bit him several times. He suffered severe injuries to his right shoulder, torso and leg.

English Bay, Ascension Island
English Bay, Ascension Island

Bleeding profusely, he managed to get back on the board and wait to be rescued. The island rescue service brought him ashore and he was taken to the local hospital.

His mother was quoted as saying: “As he was trying to get back on the board, that’s when [the shark] came back and got him on the right buttocks and chomped a big portion off and again, a little bit of the thigh.”

He spent several days in the island hospital, before being flown to Florida, United States for further treatment.

His mother said members of the tiny island community donated blood to save Kawika, but, because of the its remote location, it took three days to fly him to a mainland hospital.

His older brother was quoted as saying: “My brother was a strong swimmer. We grew up in Hawaii and are watermen – second generation surfers and very comfortable in the water. He was well aware of the amount of sharks there.”

Daniel Schempp, commander of the US Air Force unit on Ascension was quoted as saying: “He sustained critical bite wounds to his torso and is lucky to be alive, only kept so by the heroics of the small US and UK medical teams on the island, and because of the donated blood supplies of volunteers.”

  • A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay his medical bills.

 

 

Sources

Photo
Travel tour guide

 

FATAL – 31 March 2012 — south of Stratham near Busselton, Western Australia – diver attacked

Peter Kurmann killed by shark off western Australia
Peter Kurmann was killed by a shark while diving off Western Australia

Peter Kurmann, 33, was attacked and killed by a four-metre great white shark around two kilometres off Stratham Beach, near Busselton, Western Australia. The incident happened on Saturday 31 March 2012.

Kurmann was diving with his brother, who was not harmed in the attack. His brother reportedly dragged Kurmann’s body back onto the dive boat and took him to Port Geographe Marina, near Busselton.

The brother is reported to have said he saw a 4-metre shark in the area at the time of the attack.

No other details of the incident were reported.

Sources:

ABC

The Telegraph

Asia One

PIC Source:

ABC

FATAL – 12 January 2010 – Fish Hoek, Cape Town, South Africa – swimmer attacked

Lloyd Skinner, 37, was killed by what is presumed to be a great white shark while swimming in chest deep water off Fish Hoek beach in Cape Town South Africa in the afternoon of Tuesday 12 January 2010.

Media reports witnesses at the popular holiday destination watched in horror as they watched a gigantic shark “the size of a minibus” eat the swimmer.

His body has not been recovered.

The Guardian reports:

Skinner was standing chest-deep 100 metres from the shore and adjusting his goggles when the shark struck. It was seen approaching him twice before he disappeared in a flurry of thrashing. Cape Town’s disaster management services had issued a warning hours earlier that sharks had been spotted in the water, but the shark flag was not flying.

The Cape Times quotes a local resident who saw the attack from his home near the beach:

“Holy shit. We just saw a gigantic shark eat what looked like a person in front of our house… That shark was huge. Like dinosaur huge,” Gregg Coppen posted on Twitter.

The newspaper quoted Kyle Johnston who’d been swimming near the man when the attack happened.

“We were swimming only about 15 metres away from the guy. We were at about chest depth and he was a little deeper.

“We looked at the walkway and saw people waving towels at us, then we looked further out to sea and saw what looked like blood, and a man’s leg come up.”

“I was floating and I thought the people waving at us were joking, but then I looked back and saw a fin and blood,”

Irishman Denis Lundon, who was on walkway at the back of the beach was quoted as saying he saw “several bits of fish” that might have been parts of a single shark emerging from the water, then a swimmer being thrust chest-high out of the sea.

“I jumped, waved my hat and roared and screamed at swimmers to get out of the water. I never want to experience this again. I’m going to block it out of my mind.”

“We saw the shark come back twice,” Lundon’s friend Phyllis McCartain, from England, said. “It had the man’s body in its mouth, and his arm was in the air. Then the sea was full of blood.”

Another witness on the beach, Kathy Geldenhys, was quoted as saying: “Only when it was attacking did I see the fin, but then I could see the whole body under the water. It was a very big shark.”

Sources:

Cape Times

The Guardian