Teen Smacks Shark After Predator Bites Friend at the Beach

A teenager has described the moment he hit a shark after it bit his friend while they were swimming off the coast of Australia.

Jack Shaw and his friend were neck-deep in water at a beach in a seaside town in Victoria when they encountered what is thought to have been a reef or copper shark. His friend was named only as Tiarna in news reports.

Shaw said his friend injured her hand and calf in the water. She looked down and saw a shark.

"So I did my best to get it off there, so I was smacking at it, trying to get it off," he said. "I turned around, it got me on the back and then I said, 'swim!' and tried as fast as we could to get back in to shore."

Shaw said he was thinking "get the shark, get it off, get out of the water," during the attack.

The teenagers were helped by a family on the beach, including mother Dianne Hobbs who was a trauma nurse.

In a Facebook post, father Peter Hobbs wrote the family had gone for a "leisurely paddle" at Ocean Grove Beach when they saw Shaw and Tiarna splashing in the water. When they heard cries, the family sprang into action.

Their young son paddled out to aid the pair, but the parents called him back in. Off-duty lifeguards helped Shaw and Tiarna to the shore, 9News reported.

Referring to his wife and daughter, Peter Hobbs said: "Di being an ex professional Trauma Emergency Nurse raced into action, Ella brought in the boards and I ran back to the beach bag to call 000 [Australia's first responders number] ... The ambos [first responders] didn't take long to arrive but in the mean time Di had all the volunteer helpers organised and the poor ladies leg compressed bandage and ready for the paramedics. The teens were obviously shocked but taken to hospital."

Peter Hobbs wrote that the family were at the beach that night so Ella Hobbs could learn how to surf, which she had "always" been reluctant to do because of sharks.

"She had caught some good waves and been in the area where the shark attack happened. We'll have to get her back in the water again soon," he said.

Tiarna had surgery at a hospital following the attack, according to 9News.

Pieter Wildekamp of the Victorian Fisheries Authority said according to 9News: "We haven't had a significant shark attack in over 40 years."

The beach was closed after the attack, and later re-opened.

reef shark
A stock image of a shark. Two teenagers were bitten by a shark on Monday. Getty Images