Australian Surfer Says He Punched Attacking Shark, Caught a Wave to Escape

While shark attacks are rare, more people are killed by electrocution by Christmas lights each year, here is a guide on what to do if you should find yourself in such a precarious position.

(Published Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017)

A surfer was lucky to escape with a superficial scratch on his back, a torn wetsuit and teeth marks in his board when he was attacked by a shark on Tuesday off an Australian beach.

Marcel Brundler, 37, estimated the shark that grabbed his board was a 3-meter (10-foot) great white shark. He was surfing near Lorne, 140 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of the Victoria state capital, Melbourne.

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Bundler said he punched the shark before making his escape by catching a wave.

"At first I didn't think anything of it, we have lots of dolphins in the water here, but then I realized it was big, much bigger," Brundler said.

"At some stage, it had me in its jaw. I was shouting and punching it while it attacked me," he said.

"I was really, really lucky this wave popped up out of nowhere," he added.

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Lucas Von Graevenitz Sanchez said he watched the attack through his binoculars from the shore.

"The shark was massive," Von Graevenitz Sanchez said.

Police said Brundler was remarkably calm after the attack.

"The shark left bite marks in his board and tore at his wetsuit ... but he has no injuries. He was very, very lucky," police Senior Constable Mick Atkinson said.

"There were four surfers in the water at the time and they paddled in pretty quickly after that," Atkinson added.

Despite the ordeal, Brundler said he would probably surf again next week.

"Maybe not on my own though, it will be a little scary," he said.