Irish Surfer Fergal rides a wave with a great white in WA
Fegral Smith surfs with a great white in WA © SWNS Phil Gallagher (click to enlarge)
Irish Surfer Fergal Smith shares a wave with a great white shark
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 4 October, 2008 : - - Fergal Smith, 21, was surfing off the coast of Perth, Western Australia when a shark came within a few feet of him. The visiting surfer, from County Mayo, Ireland, only discovered his close shave when a local photographer Phil Gallagher showed him the picture.
Contributors to Australia's Surfing Life magazine awarded Fergal the "Euro surf-dude of the month" award. ASL website reads: "Just imagine being in the barrel and looking at a massive shark like you're at the bloody aquarium or something. Hats off to you Fergal Smith, you're our Euro surf-dude of the month."
Photographer Phil Gallagher, 29, from Perth, said: "Great Whites are common out here but I have never seen one that near to a surfer before." Fergal Smith said he "couldn't help but laugh" when he saw the photograph but added that his mother Brid, 51, had "freaked out big time". He added: "I saw a grey shape in the wave but I thought it was the reflection of a slab of rock - how wrong was I?"
Since 1876 Great White sharks have been responsible for 65 deaths and 242 recorded non-fatal attacks worldwide. Australia has had the most fatal Great White attacks in the world with 27 deaths, the most recent in 2005.
Lucky Fergal - The luck of the Irish !!
Courtesy of The Sun
Sharks - Surfersvillage