Shark jumps on surfer's board at Australia's Bondi

2015-12-22 10:33
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Sydney - An Australian surfer had a close encounter with a shark off Sydney's Bondi Beach on Tuesday when it jumped onto his board, giving him a huge fright in a near-miss witnessed by lifeguards.

Dean Norburn said he was surfing with two friends early in the morning when the shark launched itself out of the water onto his board.

"We were just past the break and as I was paddling in a little bit, I slowed down and went to sit up on my board and... as I did that, the shark brushed by me and landed on my board," Norburn told AFP.

"It gave me a bit of a shock as you can understand. And as quick as it came up it jumped off my board... swam towards one of my friends, swam under his board and then swam off.

"It's really quite freaky... it was my first (shark encounter) and hopefully it's going to be the last," he added.

'It felt like eternity'

Bondi Rescue Lifeguards confirmed the incident, adding that Norburn was not hurt and the shark - which the surfer's friend said looked like a bronze whaler - was about 1.8m long.

"Lifeguards spoke to both men and cleared the water afterwards. Will be a very memorable surf for both guys," the lifeguards said in a Facebook post.

Norburn - who has been surfing for almost three decades - said he paddled back to the beach, about 50-60m away, as quickly as he could in what "felt like eternity".

"My swimming lessons came back into play and I swam as hard as I could back to the beach," he said.

"It was a massive sense of relief (to be back on land) and you are also trying to digest what just happened."

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales, where authorities recently implemented a range of shark-prevention measures to reduce encounters after a spate of attacks this year.

The state, which has a 2 000km long coastline, has endured 13 attacks this year, including one fatal mauling.

Measures include the testing of aerial drones to track sharks' movements and "smart" drum lines that hook the animals or alert authorities to their presence.

Read more on:    australia  |  shark attacks

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