Simon Letch was surfing 40 metres off Bronte Beach about 6.10 am when a shark bit his
surfboard ( 15 cm bite mark ).
Shark attacks surfer's board
By Emily Toxward
April 17, 2005
Here I go again ... Simon Letch with his board, showing 15-centimetre bite marks, at Bronte Beach yesterday.
A surfer whose board was bitten by a shark yesterday was back out in the water an hour later.
Simon Letch, an illustrator with The Sydney Morning Herald, was surfing 40 metres off Bronte Beach about 6.10am when he saw a 1.5-metre shark.
"I was just about to turn and sit on the board and this shark just clamped on front of it," Mr Letch said.
He quickly slipped to the back of his board and rammed the nose into the shark's jaws.
The shark lost interest and Mr Letch, 40, paddled away before catching a wave in to the beach. He said the shark was a bronze colour and its fin had a black stripe.
"You think you'd go to jelly when something like this happened but I was surprisingly calm," Mr Letch said.
An hour later Mr Letch was back in the water on one of his other surfboards.
His board has two 15-centimetre bite marks, which he plans to repair.
"It was a 40th birthday present from my girlfriend so I'm pretty precious about it," Mr Letch said.
Bronte lifeguards Aaron Graham and Chris Chapman were first on the scene and immediately closed the beach.
Mr Chapman said he'd only seen a shark at Bronte in the shark net, and most of those were bull sharks or hammerheads.
A lifeguard on a jet ski searched for the shark but found nothing.
An hour after the incident more than 20 surfers headed back to catch the early-morning waves.
Surfer Michael Jenkinson said he was heading into the ocean with a no-fear attitude. "I've been surfing here for 15 years and I've never seen one."
Bronte Little Nippers Club chairman Rob Wallace said he had not seen a shark so close to shore.
"I've been surfing here every morning for nearly 40 years and I've never seen a shark here in the break," Mr Wallace said.
He was concerned that the attack would deter swimmers from the Bronte Bayside Junior Ocean Swim next Sunday.
He said Bronte had a shark net and swimmers should not be overly alarmed - just cautious, adding that sharks generally hung around beaches early in the morning and at night.
http://www.smh.com.au/news/National/Sha ... 69963.html