Tuross surfers Lothar Fulde and Mick Challice have lived to tell the tale of a close encounter with a shark, believed to be a great white.
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The One Tree Point surfers arrived at the beach for an early morning surf on Monday, when Mr Fulde began to feel “weird”.
“I don’t know if it was the colour of the water or what, but I said to Mick, ‘it looks a bit sharkey out there, you sure you don’t want to wait until the sun comes up?’”
But, keen to hit the surf, the duo paddled out regardless.
“A lot of people who have been attacked by sharks have had some sort of premonition,” he said. “I just had this feeling.”
Mr Fulde, 62, and Mr Challice, 61, say they were waiting for a wave when the water around them turned black and began to “boil”.
“We were sitting out there and chatting away, and when the wave came we sort of split,” Mr Fulde said.
“The water was black and it looked like it was boiling, like there was something really big underneath forcing the water upwards.”
It was at this moment Mr Fulde saw two small fins with something large behind them, racing towards him.
“It looked like a submarine and wouldn’t have been more than 20 yards away,” he said. “I only saw its nose but it was very, very wide, it would have been at least two foot wide ... and it was black,”
The men were about to paddle to shore when a seal popped out of the water, beside Mr Challice.
“He said ‘you idiot, it’s just a couple of seals’,” Mr Fulde said. “But the water was boiling, like someone was pushing a big cable underneath, and the seal was just sitting in the middle.”
Feeling confident the “thing” in the water was simply a couple of seals playing, the men paddled back out.
“When we saw the first seal, and then the second one, I thought ‘I’ve just got this wrong’. It’s really hard to see at that time of day.”
But soon after, a wave caught the seal and the men were horrified to see it was missing half its body.
The duo realise how lucky they are to have lived to tell the tale, but say they often see sharks in the water.
“But I’ve never seen anything as big as this,” Mr Fulde said. “By the shape of the nose I have a horrible feeling it might have been a great white shark.
“I always thought a great white shark would be white, but someone showed me a newspaper clipping and their nose is actually dark, and matches the shape of the one I saw.”