This is the heart-stopping moment a 10-foot Great White shark zoomed in on a surfer and started chasing him all the way back to the shore. The incident occurred at West Beach near Esperance, south-east of Perth, just two weeks before another man lost his arm and hand in a shark attack nearby.
Andy Johnston was out with a small group of surfers on September 21, when people ashore noticed the shark’s shadow looming in the water nearby the surfers and started honking their car horns to warn them of the danger. While other surfers quickly got onto a reef, Andy chose to stay in the water. He told the Esperance Express why he did it:
I’d rather try to hold my ground against it and not freak out and make a commotion. If you’re going to get chomped then you’re going to get chomped — there’s nothing you can do about it.
Well, I don’t think I’m the only one who doubts the soundness of Andy’s decision. And I’d say that, if this is what he does every time he’s threatened by a shark, one day Andy will “get chomped”.
Anyway, the photos below, which show how close the surfer got to “getting chomped”, were only released on Thursday — a month after the tense encounter. Frits De Bruyn, who was on holiday in Western Australia at the time, took the photos. (Scroll down for a video report of the attack two weeks later.)
1. Andy Johnston was out with a small group of surfers at West Beach near Esperance, south-east of Perth, on September 21 when people ashore spotted the dark shadow looming.
2. Other surfers managed to clear the water after people started to honk their car horns to warn of the approaching shark, but Mr Johnston opted to stay put.
3. The photos showing just how close Mr Johnston came only emerged on Thursday — a month after the close encounter.
De Bruyn told Daily Mail Australia:
We were at a lookout and we saw a shadow in the water. It became evident it was shark and everyone started shouting. There was about a dozen surfers and paddle boarders in the water. He followed him to shore for a bit… he was only a body-length behind him. The surfer went straight back out a few minutes after the shark swam away.
Andy Johnston added:
It seemed just curious and I didn’t want to give it a reason to chase me so I tried to behave casually and keep an eye on it. But I didn’t know it came up quite so close as I was paddling into the wave to come into the beach with the other lads. If you’re going to say a shark is a threat every time you see one, well that’s not true. They’re doing their thing and we’re doing our thing. I probably have a higher risk of breaking my neck on that reef than the shark causing me harm.
As I said, this guy seems destined to get himself in trouble.
4. While other surfers cleared the water, Andy Johnston remained still to ‘not freak out and make a commotion’.
5. Sean Pollard was attacked at nearby Wylie Bay, east of Esperance, on October 2 — just two weeks after Mr Pollard’s close encounter.
6. The 23-year-old lost his left forearm and his other hand at the wrist when he was mauled while surfing.
And here is a video report of the attack two weeks later:
Share this surfer’s interesting behavior in the presence of a large shark with your friends and your thoughts in the comments below.