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.
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.