Shark hitches ride on Aussie surfer's board

People sunbathing at Sydney's Bondi Beach.
People sunbathing at Sydney's Bondi Beach.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY • An Australian surfer had a close encounter with a shark off Sydney's Bondi Beach yesterday when it jumped onto his board, giving him a huge fright, in a near-miss witnessed by lifeguards.

Mr Dean Norburn said he was surfing with two friends early in the morning when the shark launched itself out of the water.

"I was paddling in a little bit and I slowed down and went to sit up on my board and... as I did that, the shark brushed by me and landed on my board," he said.

"It gave me a bit of a shock. And as quick as it came up, it jumped off my board... swam towards one of my friends, swam under his board and then swam off. It was my first (shark encounter) and hopefully it's going to be the last."

Bondi Rescue Lifeguards confirmed the incident, adding that Mr Norburn was not hurt and the shark - which the surfer's friend said looked like a bronze whaler - was about 1.8m long.

"Lifeguards spoke to the men and cleared the water afterwards," the lifeguards said on Facebook.

Sydney is the capital of New South Wales, where the authorities recently implemented a range of shark-prevention measures. The state, which has a 2,000km-long coastline, has seen 13 attacks this year.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2015, with the headline 'Shark hitches ride on Aussie surfer's board'. Print Edition | Subscribe