FREAKY..... my mate attacked by a shark

YEP , Brad loves his plaid [“flannels” , we call 'em] … the ones he grows out of , I wear [hence the sleeves falling off]. Eventually they end up as surfboard cleaning rags.

I hope all my parts stay attached early this morning , as I will soon be surfing a quieter stretch of the beach with a mate … not THAT far from where Brad did his bit of biffo number …


Two Great White attacks on the South Australian coastline in two weeks. One fatal.

Three in two months. One fatal.

Four in 18 months. Two fatal.

Things are hotting up here sharkwise. On the upside the lineups have thinned out a bit :slight_smile: On the downside I’m gonna have a real hard time talkinn my wife back into the water.


doug, did you include this latest one?

Hey lowrider,

Yep, sure did. That’s the one on Saturday 24th Sep 2005. Guy is surfing in an are abetween two major seal colonies. There’s reports of anything from 10-30 seals around his break. I ain’t shark-phobic, but it’d take serious money to get me in the water there. S/SW K.I. is the whole reason great Whites migrate along Southern SA.

The guy before that was three weeks (Sunday 4th Sep 2005) ago surfing near Port Lincoln. Tourist charters have been chumming for great whites and local fishermen have been dumping offal in the ocean at Pt Lincoln. Naturally they all deny the possibility of a link. But there were current affairs reports on the elevated risk in the area a week or so beforehand.

Neither of the above attacks were fatal. Both were on surfers surfing in know Great White hotspots. Both were surfing with buddies who rushed to help. The next two weren’t so lucky.

Marine Biologist Jarrod Stehbens was attacked and killed by a Great White at Glenelg Tyre Reef - just off the metro Adelaide coast. That was in the afternoon of Wednesday Aug 24th 2005.

Surfer Nick Petersen was boat surfing during a flat spell on Friday 17th Dec 2004 500 meters from Glenelg Beach when he was attacked and killed by at least one Great White. Eyewitnesses (mates in the boat) are adamant that there were two sharks. Whilst experts can’t agree it is certain that two Great Whites attacking would be very unusual.

Four attacks in less than a year. With the usual Aussie fatality rate of 50%.

Morbid, huh?


Whilst experts can’t agree it is certain that two Great Whites attacking would be very unusual.

well , unusual happens …

the guy that died at lefthanders ?

…yep , two great whites …

Oh yeah! Unusual sure does happen. Personally I believe his mates. But I have also nearly come to blows with some… ah “associates”. That I do not choose to share the lineup with. Because they couldn’t handle me choosing having a different opinion to them on this :slight_smile:

Probably didn’t help that I don’t like them and asked them to prove to me that it was impossible.



please spare a thought for my mate Brad, as he is starting to not want to go surfing “ever again” since this , despite what he said to the reporters .

He’s been surfing for 32 years .

I guess it will take him a while , but I hope he doesn’t lose his nerve because of this .

I’ve offered to go surfing with him , when it’s his time to go ‘back in’ …


the irony [if it is that ?] , was that for the first time in YEARS , he had bought himself a new board , and this was only his second surf on it .

The obvious conclusion is that Byrne Surfboards attract sharks…

My hat is off to that guy (Lefthanders), who went down fighting hard.


Chip, I’m surprised yr pal even saw it coming.

Question - what are the fish stocks like in W Aus? I’da thought there would be plenty of regular food around for the sharks to feed on. Reason I ask is that here we surf two different oceans (only 50 mi / 75 km - 1 hr drive) - and the sharks behave differnently on both sides. Pacific side here has much larger fish, and more plentiful - so for that reason it is thought that sharks on the Pac coast are not so interested in humans. (even though we’ve had fatal attacks on the Pac side) The Carib side (Atlantic) has fewer and smaller fish, and for that reason the sharks seem more switched on and intense - people get attacked fairly regular, some fatal - like they have to compete to get food. You jump in on a deep reef on the Atlantic side, and sharks come up from the bottom in a flash to check you out.

So outside of a guy getting nailed by GW shark in an area populated by seals, it surprises me that sharks would be so aggressive outside of those areas, with so much fish to feed on . (you know - W Oz, low population - no pressure on fish stocks)

had a big one under me at the north end of rockaway back in 95 never to return to the rockaway lineup again.

Hey chipfish,

Tell him he’s immunised now. There’s no record of a surfer ever being attacked more than once by sharks (hhmm… or did this happen the first time a few months ago in the US?).

But seriously. I am not surprised that your mate feels this way. Not sure how I’d feel in his place - I don’t think anyone can predict that. Possibly all you can really do is support him regardless of how long it takes. Funny too - being around surfers will probably make him feel somewhat uncomfortable, but loosing all his surfing mates will probably see him give it up for good.

Hope your mate recovers quickly in all areas.



Big thing over here doesn’t really seem to be foodstock pressure. Great Whites come across South and South-West Australia (heading East) this time of year for some migratory reason (most likely following Seal/Whale/Dolphin feeding patterns). My laymans understanding is that the vast majority of attacks are either curiosity, mistaken identity or opportunistic feeding. Our Great White attacks have a high fatality rate - all the Great White attacks I know of have been by an animal large enough to easily take care of a bull seal with no problems. Such an animal has “very capable equipment”, to say the least.

Australia gets about the same number of shark attacks as Florida, but a large number of these are Great Whites. Sharks attack:fatality ratios in Florida are 8:1 in Australia they are 2:1.


Australia gets about the same number of shark attacks as Florida, but a large number of these are Great Whites. Sharks attack:fatality ratios in Florida are 8:1 in Australia they are 2:1.

Here in California we have other species around that we see from time to time but it seems it is only the Whites that attack people. Still, we have a pretty good survival ratio. Thankfully sharks tend to take a bite of their prey and then wait for it to die and then eat it. Seals are shit out of luck, but we humans can usually get out of the water before we bleed to death (and in california, at least the lower 2/3 or so, you’re never too far from a hospital). Luckily Peter who I mentioned above was bit by a juvenile. Pretty crazy when a juvenile of a man-eating species is still 6 to 10 feet long though!

I don’t want to fuel any paranoia (especially amongst our NorCal friends) but there’s a book called ‘Devil’s Teeth’ which is an account of the shark studies out around the Farallon Islands (offshore of SF) that’s creepy as hell, a great read and a decent insight into sharks- they migrate HUGE distances, get obscenely big and are smarter than most give them credit for. As long as I’m only dealing with the Leopards and sand sharks here in SoCal I’m alright with them- worst they’ll do is maybe give you twisted ankle when you trip over one. Whites however, are another story altogether.

Slim, consafos,

Seems to be mostly largish/large/very large Whites that attack over here. I guess that accounts for the 50/50 ratio somewhat. They think they have just finished a several thousand kilometer migration and are looking to “fuel up”.

Other than our ability to get out of the water quickly, what saves us? Seem to me that a very large percentage of surfer survivors I have heard about (at least locally) are in a group and, when the attack occurs, everyone in the group exhibits non-prey behaviour. The victim fights back and his mates paddle straight to him to help. Thats the polar opposite of what seals do (they all try to escape, including the victim). Perhaps this confuses the shark? Cant see how anything with that bodysize and that number of large teeth could possibly be scared of us! Obviously that doesn’t work every time, tho. But it looks like it maximises chances.

Anyone see the Mythbusters doing Jaws? Pretty obvious that blows to the nose and gills have a noticable affect. But those to the eyes seem to do zip.



Hey chipfish,

Tell him he’s immunised now. There’s no record of a surfer ever being attacked more than once by sharks

Actually … A guy in [notorious shark attack destination] ‘Cactus’ was , in fact , attacked on three separate occassions there, over the years. His nickname , not surprisingly , was …yep , you guessed it …“sharkbait”… Ironic and sad that he actually was killed a few years ago now …in a … CAR accident . ben

Ah Cactus. There’s a love/hate relationship between Adleaide surfers and cactus :slight_smile:

And then there’s the long weekend when two surfers were attacked on consecutive days.

Hadn’t know about the three attacks. Had heard rumors it was two. Thanks for the update, sad tho it is :frowning:


Could this all have happened because he was using a Surftech board?

And with a worldwide respected shaper as a surf buddy?

how inappropriate!

This is a sort of gruesome thread, but…

Yes, if I’m remembering the book right fighting back/non prey behaviour does help and a lot of the time the shark takes a bite, realises the surfer/diver/whatever isn’t a seal and doesn’t have the fat content to make a worthwhile meal and spits you out. A lot of the hits are just the shark checking out whether you’re edible or not but unfortunately after a 10’ plus, 3 rows of teeth sort of creature has decided you’re not edible it’s a bit late for you. I’m giving myself the creeps and will curse Doug, Ben and the rest of you when I’m out there sitting on the 5’10" fish that must look like an utterly tasty wee seal from underneath. Can’t we go back to looking at pictures of Ben’s fin setups or making fun of popouts?