A Spanish tourist has had a lucky escape after he was bitten on the bottom by a shark while boogie-boarding at The Farm on Sunday evening.
Gonzalo Mompo Fernandez was with a group of other tourists at the popular Killalea State Park surfing spot when the incident happened about 6.30pm.
The 30-year-old received small puncture wounds to his backside, but didn’t require medical treatment.
“We were paddling for a wave, or just going over the lip of a wave, and then the shark’s come up the back and tried to grab hold of his arse,”Jordan Hirst, who was with Gonzalo at the time, told the Mercury.
“He’s tried to bash it off and it kept swimming up … a few guys saw the tail like splashing around.
“The shark was pushing itself on top of him. He was on a boogie board, so like lying down with his feet in the water, and it’s come up the back and the tail’s been smashing him on the leg.”
Teeth marks on Gonzalo’s wetsuit show the spot where the shark tried to grab hold.
“There’s a few small like puncture wounds under his arse cheek,” Jordan, a 21-year-old from England, said of his friend’s injuries.
“He’s super lucky … if it’d been down a bit lower it’d be a different story, I think.”
Jordan, Gonzalo and two others – Ivan Vilches and Unai Unsausti – had been on a day-long surfing trip. All four met at a hostel in Avalon.
Killalea State Park manager Nathan Cattell said the look on Gonzalo’s face after the ordeal told of how happy he was to be out of the water.
“He gave us a hug. It was like ‘I’m glad I’m still here’,” Mr Cattell said. The type of shark involved isn’t known.
The presence of shark didn’t put off surfers on Monday morning, who were back catching waves at The Farm.