A surfer and former boxer fought off an attacking great white shark in Australia on Friday, punching his way past the predator in a near-replay of Mick Fanning’s recent encounter.
Craig Ison, 52, was out for his regular morning surf at Evans Head in northern NSW when the shark attacked him from behind, according to Nine News. His friend, Geoff Hill, spotted the white shark and raised the alarm, but Ison was forced to fight back against the animal after it bit into his leg and knocked him off his board.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) July 31, 2015
The surfer struck back at the shark, punching the great white several times, according to the BBC, but he was left with injuries to his left leg and arm. Ison was able to make it back to shore on his board, where a fellow beachgoer applied a tourniquet to his leg before help arrived. While on the beach following the attack, Ison joked that he was “able to get in a few left-handers on the shark,” according to Seven News.
— Metro (@MetroUK) July 31, 2015
“He was badly bitten. He was in shock. We put him on a surfboard for a stretcher, called the ambulance and applied the tourniquet, wrapped him up with a towel and covered the wounds… and applied the best first aid we could on the beach,” Hill recalled. “I helped him out of the water. His first words were, ‘get a tourniquet on my leg’, so we used a leg rope.”
— Daily Star (@Daily_Star) July 31, 2015
Hill compared his friend’s ordeal to that of surfer Mick Fanning, who encountered a white shark during a competition that was broadcast live less than two weeks ago. After viewing footage of the incident, however, shark researchers asserted that the great white likely wasn’t attacking Fanning, but simply investigating him, as the Inquisitr previously reported.
“It was like watching a Mick Fanning replay,” Hill noted.
— Mashable (@mashable) July 31, 2015
All three beaches in Evans Head have been closed by Surf Life Saving NSW following Ison’s run-in with the shark. While locals note that it is hardly unusual to see bull sharks in the region, they claim that the presence of great whites so close to shore is a new phenomenon.
[Photo by Ryan Pierse/ Getty Images]