Associate Editor

The Inertia


A twenty-five-year-old British doctor who survived a harrowing encounter with a shark in Australia on Monday by punching it in the face says he owes three-time world champion, Mick Fanning, a beer.

Charlie Fry was surfing with three friends at Avoca Beach in New South Wales when a shark grabbed hold of his right shoulder.


“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.”

Fry went on to explain his encounter to Nine Network this way:

“I got this massive thud on my right-hand side, which completely blindsided me. I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.

“I punched it in the face with my left hand … and managed to scramble back on my board, shout at my friends. Luckily a wave came, so I just surfed the wave in.

“I was just surfing, [saying] get in as fast as possible, ride the wave as fast as possible, ride the wave as long as you can and start paddling for your life essentially. It was very, very hectic. Very, very hectic.”

Fry escaped the ordeal with scratches and a puncture on his shoulder.

For now, reports are unclear exactly what species of shark laid into Fry’s arm, but according to the Guardian, Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters confirmed a ten-foot shark, probably a bronze whaler, had been sighted in the area.

When asked if he’d return to surf the same spot, Fry said, “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. I mean, the surf was rubbish. It wasn’t even worth it.”

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