A shark attack off the coast of Western Australia left a teen boy injured but unfazed Saturday morning. Surfer Cameron Pearman, who is all of 13-years-old, was in the waters off of Port Bouvard, about 50 miles south of Perth, at about 6:15 a.m. local time (5:15 p.m. Friday, U.S. Eastern time) when he saw a six-and-half-foot shark coming right at him.
“I saw the shark half a second before it bit my leg. It was fully grey all over. I didn’t really fell anything at the time,” said the teen. “It was a bit crazy for a moment but it started to hurt after the adrenalin wore off.”
Just how tough is Cameron? After fighting off the shark and paddling his way to shore — and receiving first aid from his 16-year-old cousin, Sam James, a trained lifeguard — the teen calmly got on his bicycle, pedaled home, and made himself a breakfast snack of raisin toast.
— Katrin Long (@Katrin_Long) November 29, 2014
And then, and only then, did he mention the shark attack to his parents — who drove him to the nearest hospital. But at first, given the teen’s nonchalant demeanor, Cameron’s dad Tim Pearman thought his son was putting him on.
“He’d ridden home on his bike, and he was bandaged up, there was quite a bit of blood, but I thought you don’t ride your bike if you’ve been bitten by a shark, so I was a bit suspicious,” said the elder Pearman. “But once he’d had a shower and I could see what had happened, it was pretty obvious.”
At the hospital, according to his father, Cameron had minor surgery to clean out his wounds. Doctors pulled some shards of his damaged wetsuit from inside the deep shark bite cuts.
By Sunday morning, Cameron was feeling “a bit stiff and sore,” and finally realizing how narrowly he had averted a tragedy.
“Yesterday afternoon it was starting to sink in, that it was a very lucky near miss,” said his dad.
The same morning of the shark attack on Cameron Pearman, a local surfing safety group had issued a warning that medium sized shark had been sighted in the area.
Area beaches were closed after the shark attack, but they reopened later on Sunday after no one reported any further sightings of the shark.
Cameron’s aborted surfing expedition was the first time he’d been in the water since injuring his wrist three weeks earlier. Shark attack or no shark attack, the boy says he plans to head back into the water with his surfboard Monday morning.