A novice surfer mastered a pro's move on the first try: He punched a shark on the nose to escape its jaws.
A British doctor narrowly escaped a shark attack Monday afternoon while surfing off the Australian coast. The attack left Charlie Fry with “superficial puncture wounds” on his right shoulder and upper arm.
Fry, 25, who arrived in Australia two months ago to work, said Tuesday he had recently watched a YouTube video in which Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning described his famous escape from a great white shark during the J-Bay Open in South Africa in 2015.
"So when it happened, I was like: 'Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose,'" Fry told Nine Network television. "So Mick, if you're watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much."
A surfing beginner, Fry was in the water with three fellow doctors when he was attacked off a beach 60 miles north of Sydney.
"I was out surfing and I got this massive thud on my right-hand side; it completely blindsided me," Fry said.
"I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head," he said. "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 said he wasn't conscious of his injured and bleeding arm until he reached the shore. Fry was driven to Gosford Hospital, where he and his friends all worked, to be treated.
Lifeguards spotted the 10-foot shark that attacked Fry close to shore and would use drones on Tuesday to check that it had left the area, Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported. The beach was closed for 24 hours.
Fry said he could not return to the ocean for a week due to his injuries, but "after then, I'll be racing to get back in."
The Associated Press contributed to this report