Stab Magazine | Man Survives Shark Attack At Iluka, NSW

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Man Survives Shark Attack At Iluka, NSW

His Julian Wilson pro model didn’t.

news // Sep 11, 2017
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

It was around 6am Sunday morning when the shark attacked. Thirty five year-old Abe McGrath had been surfing practically empty waves at Main Beach, few hundred metres up from the Iluka breakwall on the NSW north coast, when what is believed to be a 3.5 metre juvenile Great White surfaced for a bite.

“He was laying on his board and got attacked from below really aggressively,” Mr Cameron, who was about to paddle out, told “The force of the attack snapped his board and the impact lifted him up.”

According to Mr Cameron, the apex predator struck from underneath, its jaws clamping onto Abe’s JS, breaking the board in half and taking a modest slice of flesh from his hip in the process. 

“Abe was left floating in the water with a couple of teeth marks on his body. He scrambled in the water and got washed in by the next wave.” he continued. “He is pretty much the luckiest man on earth right now. He was lying on his board, but if he had been sitting on it he would have lost a leg.”

Shark bite pic

“He was stoked, he wasn’t in shock yet, he was really happy to be alive and in front of his mates,” said Mr Cameron. “We were all giving him big hugs and felt pretty lucky to have him there.” Image: Instagram

The only other surfer in the water, Elijah “Hobbit” Colbey, also saw the attack take place from about fifty metres away. 

“A good wave had just rolled past,” he said. “We were both watching it, and then I looked back and saw Abe skimming across the water splashing.”

“Then I hear f**k off, f**k off and then my nickname Hobbit being called out. I started paddling towards him for help and then my mind clicked to it being the worst possible outcome.”

Once safe on dry land, Abe embraced his friends before being driven to hospital for minor treatment of his wound.

Iluka is about a one hour drive south of the notoriously shark-infested Ballina region. Stab wishes Abe a speedy recovery and hopes for minimal shark-human interactions in the vicinity moving forward.


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