Published: Wed, November 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Well-schooled doctor punches shark in the face to escape attack

Well-schooled doctor punches shark in the face to escape attack

Charlie Fry, 25, who moved to Sydney two months ago for work, was surfing at Avoca beach north of the city on Monday when the shark leapt out of the water and bit his arm.

He said: "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 explained: "I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at me friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in".

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The medic said that he feared for his life during the incident but was focused on staying alive.

"I said, "just do what Mick did, just punch it in the nose", Dr Fry told the Nine Network on Tuesday.

Fry suffered minor scratches and bite wounds from the "hectic" encounter and was driven to hospital by his fellow surfers, who were also doctors.

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Lifeguards in the area told the Daily Telegraph the warm water and excess fish would have pulled the shark in closer to shore than it would usually go. A great white shark and a bronze whaler shark have both been "spotted" by lifeguards. Police said the shark was about 6.5 ft long.

He said he had been inspired by surfer Mick Fanning, who famously fended off a shark during a competition in 2015.

As of November 1, there have been 18 shark attacks in Australia in 2017, with only one fatality, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.

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Avoca beach will remain closed for most of tomorrow as a result of the attack. Fatal shark attacks are relatively rare, with only about two per year occurring in Australia.

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