Shark chomps leg rope, knocks second surfer off his board
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 July, 2016 - Shark woes have returned to Northern New South Wales in the troubled region between Ballina and Lennox Head as two surfers report being bumped at Sharpes Beach. One surfer had his leg rope bitten while another was knocked off his board.
18-year-olds Curran See and Harry Lake were waiting out the back around noon when they saw a huge shark they believed was a great white.
"Suddenly there was this disturbance underwater and I've been shook while sitting on my board and I've looked down and realised there's a shark," Mr See told ABC Online. Curran said the shark tried to bite him but missed, snagging his surf leash instead.
"It's come up from the right underneath my board and gone for my leg and just by chance I've moved my leg out of the way as it's gone for it, speeding like a torpedo, it bit through my leg rope," he said. "As it's missed me, it's gone to correct and come back around and as it's done that it's erupted out of the water from the side and hit my friend Harry."
When the shark missed Curran it went for the other surfer, Harry Lake, knocking him off his board.
"I don't know if it was its head or tail or body that hit me in the arm, but I was knocked off my board and pulled a fair way under,” Harry told ABC.net. "I was looking at it in awe then it started to turn around and I kicked into gear."
Both surfers then headed quickly for shore. The two paddled for what seemed an eternity before a couple of waves helped push them in. When the two reached the shore they found dings in their boards from the surprise meeting. Harry said he’s had four shark encounters during his life as a surfer but that this one was the biggest shark he’s ever seen.
Further down the beach at the Ballina Lightouse Beach, Ballina Mayor David Wright said police were called when someone reported a shark sighting there. He said he's unsure if the two events are related.
The area of Northern New South Wales became the focus of national attention after a string of shark attacks (one fatal) and public discussion about how best to protect the public.
An eco-shark barrier was installed at Ballina but then protested against by a group of surfers. According to reports the barrier was a hazard and didn’t extend far enough out the back.