Elliston surfer Andrew McLeod bounced by shark
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 14 May, 2014 - Andrew McLeod has told how he was launched into the air after he was attacked from below by a great white shark on South Australia's West Coast this morning. The shark, estimated to have been 15 feet or 4.5m long, smashed into the bottom of Andrew “Monkey” McLeod’s board while he was surfing with two mates on the Elliston Bar, about 2km off shore, at 9.30am.
The great white left two huge bite marks, along with blood stains, in the bottom of Mr McLeod’s surfboard and left the trio — made up of one half of the “duct tape surfing” pair Tyrone Swan and Oakley Big Wave Contest finalist Sam Jervis — facing a harrowing paddle back to shore. Mr McLeod, 35, said he had just arrived at the reef break after the long haul from shore when the shark hit.
“I was about 15 metres from the peak, just getting my breath back so I could catch a wave if one came through when I just felt this massive force and heard this massive sound,” he said. “I went flying and Ty thinks that the shark might have totally breached the surface because there was a huge splash. After I climbed back on my board I saw its tail fin right next to me and it must have been five foot high. I’d say the shark was 15 foot long. I yelled out “it’s a pointer!’.”
Mr Jervis and Mr Swan, who had watched the drama unfold, waited for Mr McLeod to paddle over to them before the three surfers began paddling back to the southern end of Waterloo Bay.
“I have to give a massive thanks to them for waiting for me and allowing us to bunch up before we paddled in.”
The damage to Mr McLeod’s board, however, meant that the other two surfers were able to catch a wave and he found himself alone. “Because my board was stuffed I couldn’t catch that wave, but then I got one and rode it on my guts,” he said. “Then it was a very fast paddle back to the shore, but I was totally rooted because I’d only just got out there.”
Mr Jervis said once on shore the friends realised just how lucky they had been.