'Mick, I owe you a beer': British surfer thanks Fanning after fending off shark

Croak

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Authors: Rio Sports

A British doctor who was attacked by a shark on the New South Wales central coast while surfing says he owes Mick Fanning a drink after copying the professional surfer’s tactics and punching the animal off.

Charlie Fry, 25, was surfing with three friends at Avoca beach on Monday afternoon when a shark hit him on the 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 said he was up to 40 metres offshore when the shark jumped out of the water and hit him on the right shoulder.

“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,” he said.

“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 said he was not conscious of his injured and bleeding arm until he reached the shore.

“I didn’t really notice it at the time because when you’re surfing, all I’m thinking was: ‘I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die’,” Fry said.

He was taken to Gosford hospital with scratches and a puncture wound on his shoulder.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters said a three-metre shark, probably a bronze whaler, had been sighted in the surf zone at Avoca.

Avoca Beach and North Avoca will remain closed for Tuesday.

Australian surfing great Fanning was attacked by a great white while competing at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa in 2015 and walked away physically unscathed after fighting it off.

Fry indicated he would be taking a break from surfing for the foreseeable future.

“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,” he said. “I mean, the surf was rubbish. It wasn’t even worth it.”

Surfer Mick Fanning fights off shark attack at J-Bay Open
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