An Australian teenager has narrowly escaped death after being flung into the air by a shark as it took a bite. Nathan Drummond, 19, was competing at the South Australian Ocean Paddlers series at Seacliff Beach when the large shark attacked his surf ski Sunday.
“The shark just came up and hit me from beneath,” Drummond said. “My ski just kind of lifted above the water, and then the next thing I knew I was in the air. Then I was in the water and I saw this figure just kind of fall back into the water—a big shark.”
Pictures of the hole in Drummond’s vessel show the shark took a bite directly below where he was sitting, with one onlooker heard exclaiming, “Holy shit!” as he sees the gaping hole. Drummond said he immediately ripped off his leg rope and swam toward a group of fellow competitors, who pulled him out of the water to safety. It is unclear what species of shark attacked the teen, but Surf Life Saving South Australia’s Daniel Willetts indicated it may have been a great white. “There’s no doubt he’s a lucky lad,” Willetts said.
Drummond’s mother posted on the South Australian Ocean and Surf Ski Paddlers Facebook page, thanking rescuers “around Nat that just jumped in without any hesitation and pulled Nat to safety. Your quick thinking was best on ground. Thank you, thank you, thank you.” The shark could not be located. “Might buy a lottery ticket,” Drummond joked.