Surfer's shark tale: 'That's when it's come straight at me'
CASUARINA man Rodney Clark said in 13 years of surfing he'd never come into contact with a shark as "aggressive" as the Great White which nudged him off his SUP this morning.
At about 7.30am Mr Clark was enjoying a paddle with his 16-year-old son off Casuarina Beach when a three metre shark emerged from the "smooth, blue waters" beneath them.
"It's come from behind and come straight underneath me and I've jumped with fright and tried to alert my son to look out," Mr Clark said.
Mr Clark's son was paddling on another surfboard about 15 metres away.
"The shark circled and come back around and gone towards us as its fin came up, that's when it's come straight at me," Mr Clarke said.
"It went towards the nose (of my SUP) and just as it swiped beside me, I'm not sure if it hit me or if it was its wake, but it knocked me off.
"I thought I was going to land on the shark but I didn't. At that point its disappeared and I was yelling out to my son to hurry up and go back (to the beach).
"He was slowing down to wait for me but I said 'keep going mate'."
As Mr Clark swam towards the shoreline his son rolled into the gutter with his surfboard.
"I lost sight of my son because a wave hit him but I knew the shark was somewhere behind me," Mr Clark said.
"I knew I was between my son and the shark, and that was the one saving grace for me."
The pair didn't see the shark again and believe it was startled when Mr Clark fell off his SUP.
"I've come into contact with sharks before, but nothing as aggressive as this was," Mr Clark said. "It was very scary."
"I'll probably be out again in the water tomorrow but maybe a little bit later ... depends on how many people are out there."
Mr Clark's wife reported the incident to the Dorsal Shark Reports - Australia Facebook page to alert other beachgoers.
The Department of Primary Industries said no tagged shark had registered at Casuarina this morning, but there were recordings at Ballina.