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.”



INJURED – 2 December 2012 – Green Island, New South Wales, Australia – spearfisherman bitten

A spearfisherman (name not released) received minor lacerations to his knee after a shark bit him while he was spearfishing off Green Island, New South Wales, Australia. The incident happened on 2 December 2012.

He was taken to Port Macquarie Base Hospital with minor injuries, which did not require stitches.

According to other divers, the victim had a dead fish attached to his weight belt, which attracted the shark.

No other details were reported.


INJURED – 25 February 2012 – Broughton Island, New South Wales, Australia – fisherman bitten

A brief report in the Newcastle Herald, says a fisherman (not named) was bitten on the left foot by a grey nurse shark while in the water picking up fish. He was not seriously injured and managed to sail back to nearby Nelson Bay to be treated at Tomaree Hospital. He had further treatment at John Hunter Hospital.

The incident happened around 4pm on Saturday, 25 February 2012.

No other details were reported.

Newcastle Herald

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INJURED – 18 January 2012 – Redhead Beach, near Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia – surfer attacked

Shark attack surf board redhead beach Australia
A chunk was bitten from this surfboard by a bull shark that attacked a surfer leaving severe lacerations to his thigh.

UPDATE: The surfer’s name is Glen Folkard. He describes how the shark followed his blood trail as he paddled back to the beach after the attack – Daily Telegraph

A surfer, aged 44 (name not released) suffered a large laceration to his upper thigh after being attacked by what is believed to be a bull shark. The shark also bit out a chunk of the man’s surfboard.

The incident happened around 5pm on Wednesday 18 January 2012 at Redhead Beach, near Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia.

According to press reports the man managed to paddle to shore while losing a lot of blood where he was hauled up the beach by a group of surfers. He was assisted by lifeguards before paramedics arrived and transported him to John Hunter Hospital in a serious condition.

A witness described the scene as if it was from the movie Jaws.

“It was kind of like Jaws, you know, the scene at the start … where everybody’s pulled out of the water and it’s a hot day and the water’s inviting.”

When they pulled him from the water “his skin was really grey, he obviously lost quite a lot of blood”.

No other details were reported.


ABC Online

PIC Source:

INJURED – 3 January 2012 — North Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia – surfer bitten

A surfer is taken to hospital after suffering minor shark bite wounds to his right wrist and forearm while surfing late in the evening at North Avoca Beach, near Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

A 28-year-old surfer – name not released —  was bitten on the his right wrist and forarm by a juvenile white shark while surfing at North Avoca Beach, near Gosford,  New South Wales, Australia. The incident happened about 8pm on Tuesday 3 January 2012.

According to an eye witness, the shark bit onto his right arm while he was lying on his surfboard. He used his left hand to hit the shark on the snout and it swam away. He suffered a 5cm wound to his right wrist and forearm.

He paddled to shore and was treated by paramedics before being taken to Gosford Hospital where he was reported to be in  satisfactory condition.


BigPond News

ABC News

PIC Source
Video screen grab from BBC News