A British doctor who was attacked by a shark on the New South Wales central coast while surfing says he owes Mick Fanning a drink after copying the professional surfer’s tactics and punching the animal off.
Charlie Fry, 25, had been surfing at Avoca Beach on the state’s Central Coast on Monday afternoon when he felt something knock into him.
“I turned to the right and I saw a shark’s head come out of the water with its teeth and I just punched it in the face,” he told Nine News.
“(I) got back on my board, shouted at my friends who were there and then managed to catch a wave in.
“So it was a bit of a close call.”
“I said: ‘Just do what Mick did, just punch it in the nose’,” Fry told the Nine Network on Tuesday. “If you are watching or listening, Mick, I owe you a beer, thank you very much.”
The new surfer, who only arrived in Australia to work in Central Coast hospital two months ago, said he had seen the YouTube clip of Fanning saying that he had punched a shark, and that was the first thing that came to mind when he came face-to-face with his attacker.
Fry said he was up to 40 metres offshore when the shark jumped out of the water and hit him on the right shoulder.
He was taken to Gosford hospital with scratches and a puncture wound on his shoulder.
He told he wouldn’t be rushing back to the surf anyway. “I probably wouldn’t go to that point for a while. It is called ‘shark tower’ for a reason, so I will probably just go somewhere else,” he said.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters said a three-metre shark, probably a bronze whaler, had been sighted in the surf zone at Avoca.
Avoca Beach and North Avoca will remain closed for Tuesday.