Shark attacks surf ski during race off Seacliff in Adelaide’s southern suburbs
A teenager has narrowly escaped being bitten by a shark after it attacked his surf ski while racing off Seacliff in South Adelaide.
- A shark attacked a paddler’s ski and left a hole in it
- The competitor was not injured
- Shark sightings are not unusual in Adelaide at this time of year
Nat Drummond, 19, was one of around 70 competitors racing from Seacliff to Grange for a surf-ski race when he was pushed off his skis around 11.15am.
The shark, which could be up to 3 meters long, attacked the front of the paddler’s ski and ripped a chunk off the bottom.
South Australian Ocean and Surf Ski Paddlers race director Craig Burton said Drummond’s peers were quick to respond to the incident and he was able to walk away unscathed.
“All of the paddlers in this event are surf lifesavers,” he said.
“When something like that happens they go into rescue mode and it was fantastic how they got him on their surf skis and brought him safely back to shore.
“[Nat’s] in a good mood right now. We have a lot of support around him and his family.”
Mr Burton said while shark sightings were not unusual in Adelaide in the spring, he had never seen an attack at a competition.
“I have personally been doing this for over 40 years and I know some of our paddlers have seen sharks while paddling but never anything like this,” he said.
“Where we are at Seacliff it’s quite shallow, there are reefs and it was low tide, maybe that could have had something to do with it.”
The shark is nowhere to be found
A Surf Life Saving SA helicopter searched for the shark but could not locate it after the incident.
The beach was cleared of all danger and people returned to the water.
Mr Burton said it was a timely reminder for the public to be vigilant in the ocean as summer approaches.
“The brand was around [Nat’s] leg, so if it was from another angle, it could have been a different story,” he said.
“We all know there are sharks in the ocean; obviously the further out you go, the more likely they are to be there.
“[It’s] just something to know, but Surf Life Saving SA has good measures to try to minimize the risks with patrols every weekend and during the summer.”