A British surfer claims to have escaped a shark attack in Australia by punching it in the face.
Charlie Fry, a British doctor, managed to escape with superficial puncture wounds to his right shoulder and upper arm when he was attacked by the three metre-long creature off Avoca beach, north of Sydney, on Monday.
According to the Associated Press, he said: “I was out surfing and I got this massive thud on my right-hand side; it completely blindsided me.
“I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.”
Fry, who is only a novice surfer, said he had recently watched a YouTube video in which Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning described his famous escape from a great white shark during a surfing competition in 2015.
It was possibly this that saved his life.
He explained: “I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at me friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in.”
Fry said he wasn’t really aware that he was hurt until he made it to the shore.
He added: “I didn’t really notice it at the time because when you’re surfing, all I’m thinking was: ‘I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die.’”
“So I thought ... ‘get in as fast as possible, ride the wave for as long as you can and then just start paddling for your life.’”
Despite the incident, Fry said he was still keen to get back in the water.
The beach was closed for 24 hours following the attack.