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Man Fights Off Shark With Trick He Learned From YouTube

National Geographic / Today

An amateur surfer has escaped the clutches of death by punching a shark right smack in the face.

British doctor Charlie Fry went out surfing on the New South Wales Coast in Australia when a shark hit him on the shoulder, the Associated Press reports.

Charlie Fry
Today

Fry, 25, immediately sprung into action by whacking the animal straight in the nose. He said he learned the technique by watching Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning on Youtube. The video shows Fanning's legendary escape from a great white shark during a surfing competition.  

"So when it happened, I was like: 'Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose,'" Fry told Nine Network television. "So Mick, if you’re watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much."

He said he was surfing slightly over 130 feet offshore when the shark sprung out of the water.

"I was out surfing and I got this massive thud on my right-hand side; it completely blindsided me," Fry said."I thought it was a friend goofing around. I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head."

"So I just punched it in the face with my left hand and then managed to scramble back on my board, shout at me friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in," he added.

The attack on Avoca Beach left Fry with superficial puncture wounds on his right arm and shoulder. He said he didn't notice the effects of the assault until he reached the shore.

Shark attack
news.com.au

"I didn’t really notice it at the time because when you’re surfing, all I’m thinking was: 'I'm about to die. I’m literally about to die,'" Fry said.

"So I thought ... 'get in as fast as possible, ride the wave for as long as you can and then just start paddling for your life,'" he continued.

The shark's damage
news.com.au

Fry was with three of his colleagues who drove him to Gosford Hospital to be treated.

The beach was closed for 24 hours, where lifeguards saw the 10 foot shark that attacked Fry near the shore. There will be drones to surveillance the area to see if the animal has left the premises.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters said the shark was most likely a bronze whaler, and had been seen prior to Fry's incident.

Bronze Whaler Shark
Fishes of Australia

Despite the shock attack, Fry said he would take the week off but is "racing" to return to surfing, albeit at a different spot.

“I probably wouldn’t go to that point for a while,” he said. “It is called ‘shark tower’ for a reason, so I will probably just go somewhere else. The surf was rubbish yesterday, so it wasn't even worth it.”

Do you know anyone who has survived an animal attack?