Syfy Insider Exclusive

Create a free profile to get unlimited access to exclusive videos, sweepstakes, and more!

Sign Up For Free to View

Surfer Fights Off Great White Shark with His Bare Hands in 'Prolonged' Attack

A 44-year-old surfer was rushed to hospital for surgery and recovery from severe injuries.

By Cassidy Ward

In 1975, the fictional seaside down of Amity Island was the site of a series of vicious shark attacks. The shark was eventually captured and killed through the combined effort of marine scientist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), grizzled boat captain Quint (Robert Shaw), and local police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider).

The film adaptation of Jaws was so successful that it launched the summer blockbuster and an enduring cultural fear of great white sharks. The truth is that most of our encounters with white sharks are uneventful. Most of the time, we don’t even realize they are there. Sometimes, however, a particular shark on a particular day makes good on our fears in a violent attack.

Violent and Sustained Shark Attack at Australian Beach

The attack took place at approximately 10:15 a.m. local time at Port Macquarie’s Lighthouse Beach. Emergency services responded to reports of a shark attack and severe injuries. Authorities didn’t release the name of the victim, but he has been identified by 9News as 44-year-old Toby Begg.

RELATED: Great White Sharks are More Common and More Chill Than We Thought

Begg was sharing the waves Friday morning with a handful of other surfers and at least one hungry shark with an estimated length of four meters (13 feet). Witnesses reported the shark attacked, cut away, then came back again for another pass. Begg battled the shark in the water while also making his way to shore, where bystanders took swift action to address his wounds while awaiting medical intervention.

Great white sharks underwater

Police Chief Martin Brody wasn’t there, but Chief Inspector Martin Burke was. “He tried to fight he shark for up to 30 seconds and then swum himself to shore where he has realized he has sustained significant lower leg injuries. From what I understand, it was a sustained and prolonged attack,” Burke told 9News.

RELATED: Great White Sharks More Common and More Chill Than We Thought

Begg reportedly sustained significant injuries to at least one leg, ranging from his hip to his calf, causing substantial blood loss. Fortunately, one of his fellow surfers was an emergency room doctor who rushed to Begg’s aid, using a surfboard leg rope and sticks to craft a tourniquet and stem the bleeding.

Emergency responders rushed Begg to nearby Port Macquarie Base Hospital for surgery and treatment. Authorities closed the beach temporarily and deployed a drone to locate the shark and monitor for any additional shark activity in the area.

We like our shark encounters on screen, where they can’t hurt us, and we can’t hurt them. Catch Jaws, available from Universal Pictures.

Read more about: