A British doctor has become an inadvertent hero of the ocean by facing a punch-up with a great white shark – and winning.
Charlie Fry said he punched the shark on the nose to escape its jaws while surfing off the Australian coast.
The 25-year-old was left with bleeding puncture wound on his right shoulder and upper arm after the attack on Monday afternoon off Avoca Beach, 60 miles north of Sydney.
Dr Fry, who only started working at nearby Gosford Hospital two months ago, said he was inspired by pro surfer Mick Fanning after watching a recent YouTube clip of him.
In 2015, Fanning escaped being mauled by a massive shark by punching it in the face during a surfing competition in South Africa in 2015 – instantly becoming a viral superstar.
‘When it happened, I was like “just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose”,’ he told Nine Network television.
‘So Mick, if you’re watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.’
The doctor is a surfing beginner and was out with three friends when he was attacked.
He explained: ‘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.
‘So I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at my friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in.’
He says he had no idea his arm was pouring with blood until he reached the shore.
‘All I was thinking was, “I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die”,’ he said.
‘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”.’
He was taken to the hospital where he works and he had been told to stay out of the water while his injuries heal.
‘After then I’ll be racing to get back in,’ he said.