Killer Great White shark likely fifteen-foot “local” nicknamed Bruce; surfer tried to warn others before dying in shallow-water attack; fisherman on jetski says he was “confronted” by “huge” amount of blood in the water

“Bruce has been swimming around there for years now finally big enough to attack someone. RIP old mate”

On a pretty autumn morning on a particularly dreamy slice of Australian coastline yesterday, a fifty-nine-year-old surfer was killed in front of his mates by a fifteen-foot Great White.

Locals were familiar with the animal, posting on Facebook, “Bruce has been swimming around there for years now finally big enough to attack someone.”

(The name Bruce refers, of course, to the nickname given to the mechanical Great White in the 1975 film Jaws, sourced either from director Steven Spielberg’s accountant Bruce, who kept balking at the cost overruns on the fake shake, or Spielberg’s lawyer, also called Bruce.)

Fisho Michael Guest, who was on a jetski nearby, told morning TV,

“People just started pointing and yelling at me. I zipped over to just around the corner of the break wall to see what was going on. I didn’t know if somebody was drowning. Then this gentleman said, ‘There’s a guy getting attacked by the shark over there’. Hearing those words straightaway, I just… flattened the throttle on the jet ski. It wasn’t a nice thing to see, to be perfectly honest. I couldn’t believe there was so much blood in the water.”

Three other surfers dragged the man to the beach. 

“They pulled the gentleman up, lifted him up around water level,” said Guest. “I could see the horrific injuries that had occurred. Even though it’s a big animal, I don’t know where it was, it was obviously just there somewhere. I didn’t see the shark but the damage was done.”

Last year was the deadliest year for shark attacks in Australia since 1923, pointedly the worst for surfers in the country’s history: five fatals out of the eight, all of ‘em by Great White. 

Much hand-wringing in media. Climate change done it and so on. 

From a BBC story, Is Australia Really Seeing More Shark Attacks?,

Scientists know that climate change is affecting ocean current movements and weather patterns. Depending on its impact, Associate Prof Hart said, we could in future “potentially see an increase or equally a decrease in shark attacks perhaps in response to those changing environmental variables”

No mention, of course, of the mathematics of what happens when you protect an apex predator for twenty-two years.

After the fourth attack on a surfer last year, and just before a Gold Coast real estate agent was hit and killed at the Superbank, Steve “Longtom” Shearer asked,

Are we at a tipping point where we say, maybe it’s time to take the gloves off? 

“By accident and on purpose, an almost ideal world for the White shark has been created. Protected in Australia since ’99, but likely, according to the supplementary material on the CSIRO population study, to have faced decreasing threats from humans since the late 80’s, bolstered as adults by increases in whale and seal numbers. Boosted as juveniles and sub-adults by decreases in commercial fishing in NSW and the establishment of marine parks along the Australian coastline. We’ve created a world tailormade for our old pal the White shark.

“But if you create such a world, and the White Shark Recovery Plan makes clear such a world is a desirable and wondrous thing then ain’t there a slight ethical obligation to consider the kiddies and old sea dogs who wind up in the jaws of nature’s most long lived apex, opportunistic predator?

“The people who have to drag them in, watch them turn grey while they wait for the chopper to arrive?

“The Mums, Dads, school mates, drinking pals, girlfriends and boyfriends etc etc etc?

“Is there an end state where we can say, OK, too many, let’s go fishing?

“I almost daren’t say it, but it feels like we could be close.”

After yesterday’s fatal attack by a Great White, the first for 2021 though certainly not the last, the smart money is on… never. 

For despite everything, despite the overwhelming evidence that Great Whites patrol beaches in abundance and with impunity, nothing, not the roll call of surfers dying, literally, in the mouths of sharks, including a seventeen-year-old girl and a fifteen-year-old boy, will shift a perception in the essential perfection and mythology of the Great White. 

This morning, an eight-foot Great White was caught a few hundred metres away from the sight of yesterday’s attack.

Caught.

Tagged.

Released.

One local resident, Kellie Hilder, told the Daily Telegraph her kid Chloe had given up surfing Tuncurry’s clean little tubes ’cause of the Great Whites.

“For the past six months she’s been too scared to go out there. There are so many sharks she’s given up surfing.”


Photo: Encyclopedia of Surfing

Zombie website Surfer infuriates fanbase by promoting tobacco-less nicotine lozenges, profiling surfers who dabble in pottery: “Severson would be rotating wildly in his grave!”

Extremely unnatural.

It seems years ago, now, that the august Surfer magazine was shuttered overnight, furloughing its staff, ending a near 60 year run as “the Bible of the Sport,” though in reality it has only been seven-ish months.

At the time, legendary photo editor Peter Taras wrote, “It’s really hard for me to put into words right now the feelings. I’m a weepy mess. I taught. I was taught. I cared so much for all the creatives I worked with over the years. We were family.”

Very sad, indeed, but life goes on and, apparently, Surfer has too as a “zombie website.”

Zombie websites, those that have been purchased or traded hands, killed, brought back to life as vehicles for dark purposes, are ubiquitous in or modern media landscape.

Surfer, an empty flesh shell of itself, is currently pushing out a new series called Velo Road Trip: Beyond Boundaries. A “cross-country adventure bringing you access to individuals who are experiencing life beyond the boundaries, pursuing their passions and striving to make a difference in their local communities.”

The latest offering features a La Jolla local who is passionate about pottery and the way he has shifted his life-work balance into a life-life balance.

Per the piece:

Any surfer worth his or her salt knows that mums the word when it comes to sharing any of their go-to spots. And we promised Joe we wouldn’t spill the beans on his home turf. That said, San Diego is home to endless miles of surf for beginners and experts alike. The picturesque beauty and SoCal sun makes San Diego a year round destination for surf enthusiasts from the world over.

I was forwarded by an ex-Surfer editor and famous author who wrote, “Severson would be rotating wildly in his grave.”

I assumed over the wanton practice of surf pottery sponsored by some road bicycle brand but scrolled to the bottom of the piece and read the single comment to make sure.

Why is Surfer promoting nicotine products? This is shameful, I will never visit this website again.

Velo is a nicotine product?

Scrolling back up, I read, “VELO nicotine pouches are small white pouches that are tobacco-leaf free. Available in multiple different flavors and strengths, with VELO pouches there’s no smoke and no hassle. The best part? You can enjoy nicotine pouches virtually anywhere.”

Extremely unnatural.


Australian man ignites outrage, grief, by surfing a giant crocodile: “If this stunt is the ‘most Aussie thing ever,’ we should be ashamed!”

"The last thing Australian animals need is also to be stood on by grown men looking for attention."

An Australian man caused much outrage, grief, days ago when a blurry image of the nameless legend appeared on Reddit surfing a giant crocodile. It was captioned “Most Aussie Photo I Have” though deleted 24-hours later but not before the press grabbed hold leading to much outrage, grief.

Described as a “tradie,” the man is wearing short pants, no shoes and a classic high visibility jacket. The crocodile is sporting a rope from his jaws to the man’s hands.

Pundits declared the crocodile was either “trapped” or “drugged” or “dead.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, not to be confused with The People™, immediately weighed in with spokesperson Emily Rice declaring, “If this stunt is the ‘most Aussie thing ever,’ we should be ashamed. Animals are not surfboards, and we should no more be applauding a person who ‘surfs’ on a crocodile than we should applaud jockeys who whip horses or marine park trainers who torment dolphins. The last thing Australian animals need is also to be stood on by grown men looking for attention.”

Imagine if PETA watched the World Surf League broadcast from Rottnest Island and learned that the endemic quokkas are fed lots of junk food and used solely for selfies with ’69 World Champion Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew (quokka pictured in foreground).

Very cute.

Australia is, in any case, still said to be reeling from the photo. It is being whispered that whoever shaped Taj Burrow’s Rottnest board is considering joining the “last-thing-Australian-animals-need-is-to-be-stood-on-by-grown-men-looking-for-attention” lawsuit.

More as the story develops.


Tagged White at Tuncurry, one of sixty-five caught during a six-month smart drum line trial.

Update: Surfer dies after being hit by suspected Great White shark at Tuncurry on Australia’s Mid-North Coast

"Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene the man could not be revived."

A surfer in his fifties who was dragged out of the water after a suspected Great White attack with wounds to his upper leg at Tuncurry, four hours north of Sydney, has died.

Last year, researchers discovered the area to be part of a “Great White Superhighway”.

The report, funded by NSW DPI and associated NSW Shark Management Strategy, Southern Cross University and the Paddy Pallin Foundation in partnership with the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, found 108 sharks tracked, revealed…

…Water clarity did not influence swim behavior according to track metrics in our study

Time of day influenced white shark behavior in terms of average swim speed, track straightness and net velocity. Notably, the slightly faster swim speeds and higher net velocities, as well as potentially slightly straighter tracks, in morning and afternoon periods.

Shark tracks at Tuncurry, north of the break wall.

White sharks found near the surf zone in this study were juvenile to sub-adult size classes

Whilst some of the behavior observed might support the exploratory bite hypothesis, there is likely an increased risk of a shark bite to bathers during situations where there are large shark-attracting food sources present.

Yesterday, it was revealed scientists predict 1800 hits by sharks in Australian over the next forty-five years. 


Tagged Tuncurry White. | Photo: @nsw_sharksmart

Man in serious condition after suspected Great White attack at notorious “Great White Superhighway” on Australia’s mid-north coast

Man dragged to the beach with wounds to the upper leg, CPR is being performed, a helicopter on its way. 

A man in his forties is in a serious condition after being attacked by a suspected Great White at Tuncurry, a notorious “Great White superhighway” a few hours north of Sydney. 

Details are scant, man was dragged to the beach with wounds to the upper leg, CPR is being performed, upper leg wounds, a helicopter on its way. 

Tuncurry, you’ve read about on BeachGrit. It’s the joint where a drone operator has filmed Whites cruising just behind the waves, which can be dreamy as anything by the way, fifty feet or so from the beach. 

Watch those vids here. 

A six-month smart drum line trial run along the area’s beaches caught, and released, sixty-five Great Whites, two Tigers, no Bulls, and seventeen “non-target” sharks including five absolutely thresher sharks.

They call it the Great White Superhighway.

At nearby Boomerang Beach, a pal of mine was hit by a White a couple of years ago. 

“I felt like I was hooked up to a ski boat. I immediately realised it was legit.”

More on the Tuncurry attack as it comes.