“It was getting into my board and holding it up in the air…one of its pectoral fins hit me in the groin.”
You’ll remember last week’s Great White hit on a surfer at a joint called Boat Ramps, one of the better waves down there in Margaret River.
Jack Frost, yeah real name, who’s twenty-four, was hit from below as per the White’s modus operandi, survived the blast and paddled to shore where he limped to a nearby cafe and an off-duty nurse stemmed the bleeding while he was driven to Margs hospital. His eight-one Gunther Rohn was belted to hell.
Ain’t no surprise, of course.
The Margaret River region is notorious for its booming Great White population although when world champion Brazilian surfers Italo Ferreira and Gabriel Medina refused to surf a CT even there in 2018 after two nearby attacks in one day, they were described as “weak and conniving” by the celebrated Western Australia author Tim Winton.
“As someone who’s surfed all over the world and with the machismo and bravado of Brazilians in particular, I thought it was amazing how cowardly those guys were,” he said. “Look, not everybody wants to be in the water the day after two guys have failed the taste test around the corner, but I thought it was a really low act on behalf of those two guys…I just think if you want to go swimming in a dead ocean, go to a pool, go to a wave pool. If you want to be part of something that’s alive, and that’s what surfing is to most of us, then you’ve gotta be prepared, you’re doing that in a living ecosystem. If you want to kill all the sharks you’re just going to kill the oceans. It’s one of the few places in the world where there are actually real waves.”
It’s since been revealed that SharkSmart’s tagged shark notifications had been offline since the previous Wednesday ‘cause of a tech fault, which is the achilles heel of the whole there’s-gotta-be-better-ways-to-keep-shark-attacks-down-than-culling-the-beasts. All it takes is one outage, no one knows what the hell is out there and boom.
Anyway, Swellnet’s Stu Nettle interviewed Frost, who’s originally from Great White HQ Ballina ironically, about the hit and found a man pretty nonplussed by the event, although his account of his existential battle to survive will raise the hairs.
“It’s hit me and I’ve done a kind of back flip off my board. Landed in the water and as I’ve surfaced, I’m thinking, ‘What the fuck was that?’ It was getting into my board and holding it up in the air. The shark was kind of across me, one of its pectoral fins hit me in the groin area… And then I ended up sort of spinning backwards. Kind of…what’s the word? Not manhandled, but shouldered by it. But I just figured I’m not going to roll over for it, so I moved onto its back and started punching its head a few times. That doesn’t really do much; it didn’t even flinch. But then I started punching it in the side towards the gills and I must have got one punch in where it’s touch sensitive and it just fucking shot down into the depths. It went quiet and then I got back on my board. Thank fuck my legrope wasn’t in its mouth.”
It’s a longer form Q and A but very much worth peeling a little time off for, as is the grainy video from Swellnet’s own cam.