Surfing champ comes to teen’s rescue in Great White attack

A teenager surfing Nahoon Reef on Friday afternoon had a lucky escape when, what is believed to be a 2.5m-3m Great White shark, snatched the board from under her leaving a large jaw-shaped dent in it.

Adaptive surfing champ JP Veaudry emerged as the hero when he swam towards the screaming teen after the shark pulled the board out from beneath her.

“My first thought was to get out of there, but I couldn’t just leave her. She said she didn’t know if she’d been bitten. I paddled with her to the slipway and when we got out she said it hadn’t bitten her. But I saw it bit her board in exactly the place where her arm could have been.”

Eyewitness Tristan Wantenaar, 33, who was bodyboarding a few metres in front of Zoe Stein just before 3pm, said he heard her scream and turned around to see the large dorsal fin of the shark thrashing. “It grabbed her board and thrashed it from side to side. She was trying to get back on her board to get out of the water. I panicked. I shouted at her to try to get back on and then a wave came and I caught it,” said Wantenaar.

He said he was sure the shark was a Great White because it had a “nodule” on top of its dorsal fin.

DispatchLIVE was unable to reach Stein.

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