Shark attack spooks veteran of the surf
ANYONE who knows Jode Skennar will realise he isn't too scared of the creatures of the deep blue sea.
After having surfed the waves around Minnie Water and Sandon Beach area frequently for the past 23 years, that's not too much of a surprise.
A run-in with a shark on Saturday morning has changed how he feels about the unknown.
At about 7.30am on Saturday, Jode was on the water at Sandon.
After he had caught three waves and was waiting to catch a fourth, a shark hit the underside of his board, launching him a few metres into the air and into a front flip.
“The water was all foamy so I couldn't see underneath me and it caught me completely by surprise,” Jode said.
He landed about four feet away form his board and began a desperate scramble to get back to the safe haven of his trusty surfboard, and more importantly out of the water.
“That first 10 seconds of being away from your board, you think 'I'm gone',” he said.
After getting back on his board, Jode franticly padded back to shore, but quickly stopped not wanting to attract the attention of his new found 'friend'.
About 30 seconds after the initial scramble back to his board, Jode was then lucky enough to catch a wave back to shore.
“My heart rate was sky high for about five hours. I just couldn't stop quivering,” he said.
After the run in, Jode's board has the battle scars to prove it.
“The fin was cracked and the rail had a good inch long crack in it as well as the dent.
“I think the shark may have hit the fin with its nose, gotten a surprise then swum away.
“The really weird thing is I had a kind of vision 30 seconds before. I was thinking what would happen if I got hit from underneath by a shark.”
Having shared the ocean with its many inhabitants for more than two decades, Jode has seen his fair share of sharks.
“I have seen plenty, but never been targeted. The thought always crosses your mind though,” he said.
In the past few days, there have been four shark sightings in the area, including one reported by a man who was catching beach worms.
“I haven't been back in the surf yet and I think I'll wait for the weather to change before I go in again,” Jode said.