In news that could only come from Australia, an Australian man was bitten by a shark after he headbutted it while bodysurfing at Samurai Beach, a nude beach near Newcastle.
According to the West Australian, Paul Kenny, a 51-year-old who works in the mines, was bodysurfing near Newcastle when the incident occurred. “I went to catch the last wave back in, put my head down and headbutted the shark,” Kenny told reporters. “I didn’t know it was there and couldn’t see it because it was churned up white water.”
Kenny is no stranger to the ocean. As a volunteer at the Terrigal Surf Life Saving Club, he’s assisted in rescues. He was about 150 feet from shore when the shark bit onto his right bicep, which prompted Kenny to start “hitting it and punching it to get it off.” When it let go, he began swimming towards the beach, terrified that it was following him. “I didn’t know where it was and if it was going to take my legs,” he said.
Once safely on the sand, witnesses temporarily bandaged him up and rushed him to the hospital, where he received 20 stitches in his arm. Gary Sharp, a witness, explained what he saw to The Newcastle Herald. “I had just pulled up at Samurai to check the surf,” he said. “I had noticed the lone swimmer in the water and the next thing the shark appeared.”
When reporters asked the victim whether he was nude at the time, he laughed. “Yeah, there’s no comment,” he said.
Kenny suspects the shark was a bronze whaler and doesn’t hold a grudge against it. “I was in his world,” he said. “He was just going about his business and I headbutted him so he retaliated.” Watch the hospital room interview at The West Australian.