Surfer 'launched into the air' by great white shark

By Ben Hooper   |   Sept. 26, 2017 at 11:36 AM
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Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A surfer in Australia evaded injury when an 11-foot great white shark knocked her into the water and left tooth marks on her board.

Tom Van Beem, an off-duty lifeguard, said he and a Belgian woman in her early 20s were the only ones in the water at Western Australia's North Point Beach, near Gracetown, just before 6 p.m. Monday.

"I felt this water movement underneath me," Van Beem told the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

"Then out of nowhere I saw the girl get launched into the air, followed a huge pair of fins and the whole side of this great white," he told Stab magazine.

Van Beem and the woman rushed to shore, where they examined the damage to the woman's surfboard, which bore what appeared to be marks from three of the shark's teeth.

"Very, very lucky that no one was injured and everyone's fine, just a few minor dings on her board," Van Beem told 9News. "If it wanted to, it could've taken a big limb or something like that."

Officials said the beach will remain closed through Thursday while officials monitor shark activity in the area.

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