John Morgan had a close encounter with a shark at Byron Bay's Clark Beach NSW all Mr Morgan could do to hold on for dear life while the shark dragged him through the water.
'SHARK TOWED ME LIKE A JET SKI': SURFER
September 08, 2008
John Morgan pictured with his son Hunter after a close encounter with a shark at Byron Bay's Clark Beach yesterday.
By KIMBERLEY SMITH
A RUN-IN with a three-metre shark at Clarkes Beach yesterday gave Byron surfer John Morgan reason to reflect on the importance of Father's Day.
Mr Morgan, 51, was having his daily surf at lunch time, aboard a stand-up paddle board, when he felt a sudden and violent pull on his leg rope.
But the drama didn't end there, with the shark tangling in the line and pulling Mr Morgan backwards for 50 metres.
"I had just come off a wave when I saw a large swirl of water," he said. "I was then suddenly hauled backwards.
"It felt like I was riding behind a powerful jet ski."
"The water was dirty so I couldn't make out what type of shark it was but I knew from the splashing white water that it was roughly eight to ten foot (3m)," Mr Morgan said.
With the shark tangled in his leg rope it was all Mr Morgan could do to hold on for dear life while the shark dragged him through the water.
"All I could think about was holding on and hoping the shark would untangle itself," he said.
And that's exactly what it did. While the shark swarm off quickly, Mr Morgan had the same idea - but in the opposite direction.
"I think the shark was as scared as I was," he said. "It didn't want to hurt me, we just happened to cross each others paths."
"It totally freaked me out; I'm just glad it didn't turn around and bite me."
Mr Morgan, who was 200-300 metres from shore, said he told a fellow surfer what had happened as he was paddling in and then notified the lifeguard once he reached shore.
"I also rang my wife and eight-year-old son and told them what happened before heading to the hospital to be treated for shock," he said.
The Northern NSW lifeguard co-ordinator Stephen Leahy said Mr Morgan had done exactly what anyone should do in the situation.
"He didn't panic, he left the water straight away and notified emergency services," Mr Leahy said.
"We have had a few shark encounters in the past and with the warmer weather on its way, we are expecting to see more," he said.
"Surfers should take that as a caution."
Despite the fright, Mr Morgan will not be kept from the water.
As manager of Maddog surf shop in Byron Bay he enjoys his midday surf and tomorrow you'll see him back in the water, either standing up and paddling on what is the latest surfing rage or riding his trusty thruster.
http://www.northernstar.com.au/storydis ... id=3784056