Australian SUPer John Morgan, 51, was SUPing yesterday afternoon between Clarks Beach and the Pass at Byrons Bay, was dragged through the water for about 50 metres by a shark. The shark became caught in his leash, however he managed to take the leash off and swim back to shore.
"There was a big swirl under the board and I knew it was a big shark underneath me and it sort of freaked me out a bit and then it hit my leash and the worst thing was it got tangled in my leg rope and started towing me out to sea really, really quickly ... I was on my board lying on it but slipping off the back because we were going so fast," he said.
The run-in with the three-metre shark at Clarkes Beach yesterday gave John Morgan reason to reflect on the importance of Father's Day (7 Sept. in Australia) He was having his daily SUP at lunch time, on a stand-up paddle board, when he felt the sudden violent pull on his leash.
"I had just come off a wave when I saw a large swirl of water, 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.
"All I could think about was holding on and hoping the shark would untangle itself," he said. "It totally freaked me out; I'm just glad it didn't turn around and bite me." 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.