'Luckiest Guy on Earth' Escapes Tussle With Great White Shark

Shark snapped Abe McGrath's board
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 11, 2017 6:51 AM CDT
'Luckiest Guy on Earth' Escapes Tussle With Great White Shark
This photo shows 10-year-old Eden Hasson surfing near what is believed to be a great white shark off Port Stephens, Australia, on Jan. 24, 2017.   (Chris Hasson via AP)

A 35-year-old surfer was taken to a hospital in Australia on Sunday after a shark snapped his board, tore his hip, and flung him into the air, the AP reports. Abe McGrath was surfing at Iluka, off Australia's east coast, when what he described as an 11-foot great white shark attacked the board from underneath, a police statement said. "As a result of the impact, the board has snapped. The injured victim has gone into the air and then re-entered the water." McGrath says "the shark began to circle and then turned away," per police. McGrath grabbed half his board and swam to shore, then his friends drove him to Ballina Hospital. He was then flown to Lismore Hospital for further treatment and discharged Sunday night. The shark's teeth tore McGrath's wetsuit and left a gash on his right hip.

McGrath's friend, Bryce Cameron, who was on the beach during the attack, says if McGrath had been sitting on the board instead of lying on it when the shark struck, he would have lost his leg. "The board has snapped in half straight away and that is when the shark's teeth hit his leg," Cameron tells Sydney's Daily Telegraph. "He is pretty much the luckiest man on Earth right now." A 37-year-old surfer had a similar lucky escape two weeks ago when he was attacked by a 10-foot great white shark off Australia's southeast coast. Marcel Brundler was left with a superficial scratch on his back, a torn wetsuit, and teeth marks in his board when he was attacked near Lorne in Victoria state. (More shark attack stories.)

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