Surfer battled with shark and punched it in head after it slid onto board and headbutted his BUM

By Don Mackay, Mirror News
Mar 20, 2014

Mark Byrne said he was hit by fear when the four-foot shark lunged at him while he surfed on Australia’s Victoria coastline

A terrified surfer battled with a shark and punched it on the head after it slid onto his board and headbutted his bum.

Mark Byrne said he was hit by fear when the four-foot shark lunged at him while he surfed on Australia’s Victoria coastline.

“It came straight up at me from underneath and just ran into me. It hit me on my left bum cheek.

“I tried to punch it on the back of the head, on top of the head. But it didn’t move. It was like hitting concrete.”

The dad of five, who is recovering from bowel cancer, was forced to jump into the water as the shark slid on his board.

“I thought it was the next best thing to do,” he said.

Then the shark rolled off the board and Mark clambered back on as other surfers who had spotted the shark were heading back to shore.

Later, Mark paddled back to where the attack happened – and came face-to-face with the same shark, believed to be a Broadnose sevengill, which had lunged at him.

He was in the water discussing the attack with another surfer when the shark came back, swimming between them.

“The waves were absolutely pumping and we haven’t had a good surf all year. I know it’s a bit of a dumb reason.

“But what’s the chances of 20 blokes out there that I’m going to get another shark coming up to me and pushing me around. So I thought it was too good not to go in.”

Sevengill sharks prey on a variety of animals, as well as other sharks, rays and bony fish.

They are also known to occasionally hunt in packs and use stealth tactics as part of an attack.


  1. How was this a shark attack? The shark bumped him and he punched it repeatedly. Shouldn’t it say he attacked the shark? If you bump into someone and he punches you in return, would you say that you attacked the other person and he defended himself or would you say you got attacked?

  2. Hi Martin,
    Incidents similar to this we have been fighting for a long time for them not to be considered a shark attack. The problem is the American Elsmobranch Society, International Shark Attack File, University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Florida Center for Shark Research, Australian Shark Attack File, Hawaiian Shark Attack File, Shark Research Committee all consider this a shark attack. Not to mention the hundreds of so-called experts who get their expertise in shark attacks from a visit to the ISAF web site. 
    We list this type incident as a related incident so other ocean goers may learn from this person’s experience. We have three simple to understand categories for our work “Injured”, “Harassed” and “Fatal” Fatal doesn’t matter if a shark killed or ate the person.

    If this is not a shark attack to you then please help us out by correcting anyone using ISAF stats. Did you know Rodney Fox was not attacked by a shark according to the ISAF and associates? 

    Al Brenneka

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