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Winkipop surfer convert of shark-punching method



Shark News

Victorian surfer has run in with shark

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 19 March, 2014 - A surfer has spoken of his dramatic fight with a shark after it leapt onto his board while catching waves off a Victorian beach. Mark Byrne, 42, was surfing at Winkipop near Torquay, yesterday morning when a five-foot shark lunged at him and clamped down on his board.

Terrified that he was going to die, the veteran surfer said he punched at what he thought was a gummy shark to escape. "It kept on thrashing, so I turned around and punched it in the back of the head," he said.

The father-of-five was forced to jump into the water to dislodge the defiant shark when it refused to budge. "It didn't move, so at that point I thought it best I get off the board. I flicked my leg off the board and waited for the shark to roll the board off and then jumped back on."

Mr Byrne said a number of other surfers who witnessed the attack quickly dispersed and paddled towards the shore. "I've never seen people paddle so fast away from me," 

Byrne was uninjured and went for a surf later that day.


Kristy Mayr

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