Australian rescued after 13-ft tiger shark sinks his kayak

A man in Australia claimed he had a “lucky day” after escaping a thirteen-foot shark that attacked his kayak and left him clinging on to the board as the creature circled him.

Kyle Roberts, 31, was paddling off his local beach in calm conditions on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland when the tiger shark suddenly knocked him off the kayak.  

“It hit side-on with such force it ejected me and flipped the kayak,” he told The Courier Mail. “I landed in the water about [seven feet] away and looked to see it locked on to the middle part.”

“It let go and disappeared. I swam over and inspected the damage. I could put my fingers in the holes left by its teeth.’’

Mr Roberts, who regularly kayaks in the area, used his radio to contact surf rescue authorities and waited about 35 to 40 minutes for them to arrive.

David McLean, from Surf Life Saving Queensland, said Mr Roberts was “starting to panic, especially when the shark was starting to circle him". 

"There was no blood in the water — nothing else to attract any sharks — just came out of the blue, completely broadsided him, and as he stated, he’s very lucky to be here,” Mr McLean  said.

“It had punctured the kayak — he managed to get back to the kayak and hung on and fortunately there was an air bubble at the front of the kayak which managed to keep it afloat until we could get to him.”

Mr Roberts said he planned to return to the water on his kayak next week.

“I have had a very lucky day, that’s for sure,” he said. “But I don’t think the shark had any interest in me. It did not come back.’’

The attack follows a series of recent maulings in Australia, including the death earlier this month of a 33-year-old from Melbourne who was bitten on the legs and arms while in the water during a sailing holiday off Whitsunday Island in Queensland.  Two days later, a 43-year-old man used his surfboard to fend off an attack near Ballina in northern New South Wales, where a Japanese surfer died after a great white shark tore off his legs in 2015.

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