INJURED – 25 SEPTEMBER 2005 – KANGAROO ISLAND, SOUTH AUSTRALIA – SURFER ATTACKED
Surfer, Josh Berris, 26 suffered lacerations to both legs after being attacked by a four-metre shark (some reports say the shark was “more than two metres”) at Cape du Couedic, a renowned seal breeding area off Kangaroo Island, South Australia, about midday Sunday 25 September.
Berris was celebrating his 26th birthday.
Locals call the surf spot “Spooks” because of regular shark sightings during the seal breeding season.
Paramedic Dean George told media Berris felt the shark underneath him and thought it was a seal before it bit his leg.
“He put his hand in the shark’s mouth to push it away,” George said. “When he hit it, it got the board and it starting towing him away. He just yanked his leg rope off.”
Witness Dave Dowie said the shark circled around its victim after the initial attack.
“The shark appeared to come around onto his left hand side and was right up close to his board,” Dowie said.
“It stuck its head out of the water and Josh was able to push it away.
“But then it appeared to just go for his surfboard, which was probably very fortunate.”
Dowie said the attack happened quickly.
“Josh sort of called out when it first hit him, because obviously it took him by surprise,” he said.
Two of his friends dragged an injured Berris from the water and pulled him onto rocks at the base of a cliff, before climbing up steep cliffs to make an emergency call from a nearby ranger station.
An Adelaide Bank Rescue helicopter airlifted Berris to Flinders Medical Centre, where he spent the night. His injuries were not life-threatening.