Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News World

Surfer tells of ordeal after shark attack off Australian beach

Published 08/09/2015

There have been a number of shark attacks this year in Australian waters
There have been a number of shark attacks this year in Australian waters

A surfer said he was lucky not to lose an arm when a shark bit his board off Australia's most populous state on Tuesday.

Justin Daniels, 42, received a single tooth puncture wound to the back of his left hand when the shark clamped its jaws around the board's edge off Shelley Beach, 60 miles north of Sydney.

"I'm just lucky I've still got my left arm," Mr Daniels told reporters. "It easily could have taken my hand or my arm or come back for me."

The attack was the 13th off the New South Wales state coast this year, according to records compiled by Sydney's Taronga Zoo. There were only three attacks off New South Wales last year, including two fatalities.

Mr Daniels, who surfs daily, said he was paddling his board out to sea when a 6ft shark struck from beneath.

"'Bang,' it felt like a battleship hitting my board. Threw me straight off up into the air," Mr Daniels said. "My board got separated from me, then I saw the shark underneath me."

Mr Daniels swam 10 feet back to the board "and paddled like hell in".

The only fatal attack off New South Wales this year occurred on February 9 when Japanese tourist Tadashi Nakahara, 41, lost both legs while surfing off Ballina. Another six attacks have resulted in injuries.

Sharks are common off Australia's beaches, but fatal attacks are rare. The country has averaged fewer than two deadly attacks per year in recent decades.

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph