A surfer has been knocked off his board by a large shark while surfing in WA’s south west yesterday.
Perth-based surfer, Fraser Penman, was surfing at the break known as ‘Carparks’ at Indijup Beach, south of Yallingup, with his brother and a friend, when his board was struck by a suspected Great White at around 3.45pm on Monday afternoon.
According to Penman, who posted about the incident on Facebook in the hours that followed, he has his brother to thank for his survival.
‘The biggest thank you to my lil brother Logan for instantly paddling across yelling “Punch it!” & throwing me his board saving my life,’ the post reads. ‘That takes a hell of a lot of courage & so much love, I am truly lucky to have you.’
Penman also posted photos showing the damage inflicted to his board by the shark, which illustrates just how lucky he was to escape unharmed. His Firewire was left all but snapped across the bottom, in the area above the fins. Another photo also emerged showing a makeshift sign that was erected at the beach following the attack, warning others not to enter the water.
Fellow surfer, Vinnie Poller, was checking the conditions at the beach when the ordeal occurred, telling WA Today he suddenly saw everyone scrambling towards the shore.
‘I saw everyone paddling in and the guy’s board broken up on the beach as he came ashore,’ he told reporters. ‘It’s crazy that no one was hurt, but you just have to be thankful to walk away from things like that … It all looked pretty scary in the moment.’
Shark sightings have been disturbingly frequent off the coast of WA of late, with an estimated sixty sightings in recent weeks. They have even caused contests to be postponed, with the WA School Surfing titles being called off in Perth due to frequent sightings of Bronze Whalers around the area the event was due to be held at.
Two people have died in shark attacks off the West Australian coast in 2016, and here at Tracks we’re thankful that Penman’s name won’t be joining them.