Well-schooled doctor punches shark in the face to escape attack

(ABC News) -- Amateur surfer Charlie Frye is lucky to be alive after punching a shark in the face using a maneuver he once saw a surf champion use, he said.

“I feel [like] there was a hand grabbing me, shaking me. I feel like I was going to be eaten alive, like I generally thought I was going to die, like I was eaten by a shark,” Frye, a 25-year-old British doctor living in Australia, told 9News in Australia.


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Frye and three of his doctor friends were surfing Monday off Avoca Beach, which is 90 miles north of Sydney.

"I thought it was a friend goofing around,” Frye, who was bitten on the shoulder, said. “I turned and I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head.”

In the life-or-death moment, the amateur surfer thought of Australian pro surfer Mick “White Lightning” Fanning, who famously fought off a shark attack at a 2015 surfing championship in South Africa by punching it in the face.

“I felt something on my shoulder like a big thud,” Frye told 9News. “The shark's head come out of the water and I just punched the shark in the face.”

At first, Frye didn’t realize his puncture wounds were bleeding. His friends then drove him to a hospital, which is where they all also worked, he said.

If he ever meets Fanning, Frye said, he “owes him a beer.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2017 ABC News


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