In Brief

British doctor in Australia saves himself from shark attack by punching it in face

Charlie Fry fended off the 6ft 6in long animal while out surfing with some friends

A 25 year old British doctor has escaped from a shark after “punching it in the face” while surfing in Australia.

Charlie Fry was at Avoca beach just north of Sydney when the shark “jumped out of the water and hit him in the right shoulder”, police said.

The shark “left scratches and a small puncture wound on Dr Fry's arm,” says the BBC. Police said the animal was about 2m (6ft 6in) long.

“I turned to the right and I saw a shark’s head come out of the water with its teeth and I just punched it in the face,” Fry told local Nine Network's Today programme.

“(I) got back on my board, shouted at my friends who were there and then managed to catch a wave in. So it was a bit of a close call.”

Fry said he had been inspired by surfer Mick Fanning, who famously fended off a shark during a competition in 2015.

“Me and my friends have just started surfing, and we saw the YouTube clip of Mick Fanning saying he punched [a shark] in the nose,” he said.

“So when it happened I was like, ‘Just do what Mick did, just punch it in the nose’.”

He added: “If you are watching or listening, Mick, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.”

Fry suffered minor scratches and bite wounds from the “hectic” encounter and was driven to hospital by his fellow surfers, who were also doctors.

A rescue helicopter service “later spotted a ten-foot shark near the site of the attack – a section of the beach known as ‘shark tower,’” says The Daily Telegraph.

Australia has had a spate of shark attacks in recent years, including one fatality and ten injuries this year.

Authorities closed the beach at Avoca and said surrounding beaches would be “closely monitored”.

Fry told Nine Network he wouldn’t be rushing back to the surf anyway.

“I probably wouldn’t go to that point for a while. It is called ‘shark tower’ for a reason, so I will probably just go somewhere else,” he said.

“I mean, the surf was rubbish. It wasn’t even worth it.”

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