Surfer escapes shark attack at North Avoca Beach

January 5, 2012 | Surfing
North Avoca Beach: friendly shark area

A surfer has been attacked by a shark, at North Avoca Beach, New South Wales, Australia. The 28-year old surfer was bitten in his arm while he was enjoying a few waves at 8pm.

Fortunately, Mike Wells had time and perseverance to quickly paddle back to the beach, despite being covered in blood. In the last 22 years, at least 27 people have been fatally attacked by sharks in Australia.

The shark punctured his right wrist and right forearm, leaving a five centimeter wound. Paramedics treated the man on the scene, giving him pain relief and treating his wound before taking him to Gosford Hospital.

A spokesman for the hospital said the surfer was in a satisfactory condition and that doctors were taking X-rays of his arm. Wells may not even need stitches and he was cracking jokes a few hours after.

Rick Parsons, president of the North Avoca Surf Lifesaving Club, said witnesses had reported the shark being brown and about 1.8 metres long. Parsons speculated that it could have been a bronze-brown 1.8m long whaler that was recently sighted at nearby Terrigal Beach.

The attack was considered to be extremely uncommon. "I've never known of a shark attack on North Avoca and I've been involved with the surf club for the past 20 years," said Rick Parsons.