Man Beats Great White Shark With Surfboard to Survive Attack

A man was bitten by a shark at a popular beach in Australia on Friday, according to local reports.

The shark, thought to be a 13-foot-long great white, bit the man on the leg in the waters of Bunker Bay, in the state of Western Australia, at around 2:15 p.m. local time on Friday, ABC News reported.

The man, who is in his 20s, was reportedly surfing at the time of the incident. Witnesses said the man hit the shark with his surfboard as other surfers rushed to his aid, the West Australian reported.

Local ambulance crews responded to the incident after an alarm was raised. A spokesperson for St. John Ambulance said the man had suffered injuries to his leg, although their severity is not currently known, nor is the victim's condition, ABC News reported.

Western Australia's RAC Rescue said a rescue helicopter had been dispatched from the regional center of Bunbury, 7NEWS reported.

A woman, who works in the nearby Pullman Bunker Bay resort told ABC that the man received first aid in a nearby house while the rescue helicopter was travelling to the scene.

The woman said employees had to move their vehicles from the carpark in order to make room for the helicopter to land.

The man was airlifted to a local hospital. It is expected that he will then be taken to a hospital in Perth, the capital of Western Australia, which is located around 125 miles to the north of Bunker Bay.

Western Australia's Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) said in a statement it is "currently investigating a possible shark bite incident at Bunker Bay in the City of Busselton."

"DPIRD is working with local authorities and further information will be provided as it becomes available. Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is working with local authorities to coordinate responses."

The mayor of Busselton, Grant Henley, said he was made aware of the incident on Friday afternoon, the West Australian reported.

"I know that the individual has made it out of the water and has bites to the leg," he said on Friday.

"Our thoughts are obviously with the individual and his family at this time and we hope everyone else got out of the water OK."

great white shark
Stock image: A great white shark. iStock

Authorities have now closed the beach at Bunker Bay, while fisheries officers conducted beach patrols, The Guardian reported.

Several shark attacks have occurred in Australia in recent weeks, with the country recording five fatalities from such incidents in 2020.

But while Australia is one of the world's shark attack hotspots, alongside the United States, it is important to remember that bites on humans are rare, and fatal incidents even rarer.

In fact, your odds of being killed by a shark are about one in 3.7 million, which is greater than the odds of dying from a lightning strike, according to the International Shark Attack File (ISAF) operated by the Florida Museum of Natural History.

No year over the past decade has seen more than around 100 unprovoked shark attacks worldwide, according to ISAF. And the global average for shark attack fatalities is four deaths every year.