10 months ago
While surfing off the coast of Australia, a 25-year-old man was attacked by a shark. In a moment of panic and pain, he remembered watching a video online, and was able to punch the shark on the nose and escape from its grasp, according to The Washington Post.
Charlie Fry remembered seeing a YouTube video of professional surfer Mick Fanning escaping from a Great White in 2015.
Fanning was attacked during a competition in Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. At the time, he told a reporter at the time that he punched the shark in order to get away. When the same type of attack happened to Fry, he told Nine Network’s Today Show that the thought of that viral video.
“I was like: ‘Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose,'” he said, according to The Washington Post. He said he was surfing with friends off the coast of Avoca Beach in New South Wales when he felt a massive thud on his right-hand side.
“I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head,” he said, according to The Washington Post. “So 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.”
Fry sustained minor wounds to his right shoulder and upper arm, but he did not notice the injuries while he frantically swam to shore. He told Australias Today Show that the only thought he had at the time was “I’m about to die — I’m literally about to die,” reports The Post.
He was treated for his injuries and told to stay out of the water for about a week.
One shark researcher told BBC News that the effectiveness of punching a shark depends on whether or not the shark is “curious or has decided to kill.” Ryan Johnson told the BBC that the “worst thing is to try to run away.” The best thing to do is stand “your ground and trying to make yourself big and going vertical in the water is always the best response to make a shark keep its distance from you.”
But if the shark does attack, do everything you can to try to escape, which might include punching it in the face, going for the eyes, use anything hard to hit it, and keep your hands out its mouth, writes The Post.