The Great White
Written by Durwin Keg
The moment I died on my surfboard, it helped me
survive the Great White.
For two weeks I had been dreaming of being attacked,
we had surfed here 6 times during the previous 2
days, but this morning I was looking around for a
knife to strap to my leg, in 30 years of surfing and
around the world I have never thought in this way.
It was a beautiful sunny day, waves about 4 feet, I
was 200m off shore with 2 mates and 3 more were 20
feet closer in, a pack of dolphins bolted past us,
Tim said I wonder if a shark is chasing them, Tim
and Ferdy then got a wave in straight away.
I paddled out a little further and sat up, turned my
head to the right, noticed a huge dark shape deep in
the water, perfectly still, for a split second I
thought it was a huge clump of seaweed, then I
noticed it moving stealthily slowly sideways to get
I immediately knew what it was and that it was
menacingly after me.
My stomach sank as I knew I was to far out and had
absolutely no chance of surviving, I felt so
helpless alone and a long long way from land.
I knew I only had seconds before it was going spring
up and ambush me from behind and eat me in half.
He knew I had spotted him as I slowly turned around
and began paddling, all I wanted was to get to land,
and I was already exhausted from surfing for an hour
and a half.
I thought if I don’t make a move now I’m gone and
there’s no way I’m getting out of this.
I was to far out and the waves had stopped it was
flat, I turned slowly to face the shore, Mick who
was 20 feet further in said he could see pure terror
on my face, I did one paddling stroke and the shark
realising I spotted him took off like lighting fast
under neath me and did a big arc around the back
behind me and came up spearing me off my surfboard
knocking me into the water, it was so quick I didn’t
even have time to yell to Mick “SHARK”.
At this point I was wishing I had a Knife, or
Mick said all he could see was a frenzy of water and
fins going everywhere and a big grey shape in the
water as the shark thrashed around wildly, I pushed,
punched and kicked it away from me.
I managed to get back on my board and kept paddling.
I didn’t take my eyes off him as I watched him go
down in front of me and do another huge arc behind
me at incredible speed.
I was paddling hard and I screamed at Mick and
everyone to paddle and get out.
I looked behind me and he was coming straight for me
like a missile.
He got to about 2 meters away breached the water and
came and lifted himself right out of the water, I
thought I’ve got to do something quick.
I put myself in the water and used my Surfboard as a
shield, he hit me hard and dragged me along spun me
around and I some how ended up on its back, still
clinging to my board Mick and the others could see
me out of the water on my surfboard on his back.
He went back down again as I hit the water and kept
paddling, my arms and neck felt like concrete.
Mick and others who could see said the Shark was
almost 3 times wider then me.
He went down again in front of me turned and did
another big arc behind me as I paddled hard This
time he came beside me on his side looking at me, I
sat up and looked into his eye trying to stay away
from him, as he went down again in front of me and
preceded to do another arc behind me.
At this point I gave up I didn’t have the strength
to fend him off again, he was going to eat me this
time for sure, and resigned myself to the fact that
I was dead.
Immediately something dramatic happened, all the
panic and fear left my body and I was filled with
peace and euphoria.
I had no fear what so ever and calmly but
determinedly paddled as he came 2 feet behind me, I
kept paddling and looking at him calmly waiting for
him to eat me in half, he followed me like that for
at least 30 meters, then I watched him veer off.
I almost couldn’t believe he let me go, he had me
for all money but didn’t know it.
I feel as he followed me he was weighing up whether
to attack again, but could smell no fear, and I was
not acting wounded and he may hurt himself, shortly
I managed to get onto a small wave all the way into
All the people on the beach were standing up
watching, my mates came running over to me and
couldn’t believe it when I stood they thought for
sure that I would be missing my legs as they saw him
take me down twice.
They said they could not believe how calmly I was
paddling with that monster behind me.
I have always been in awe and fear of Sharks and now
have a new found respect for their size power and
speed first hand, They are the kings of the ocean, I
don’t like the killing of sharks or the fish that
© Durwin Keg