An Australian surfer is recovering after getting into a scuffle with a shark over the weekend.
Paul Kenny, 51, says he was surfing off a nudist beach in New South Wales when he encountered the shark.
“I was coming in so I went a bit deeper to get a better wave and just put my head down and headbutted it,” Kenny recalled from his hospital bed.
That’s when Kenny says the shark latched onto his arm.
“And then it just grabbed me and I just started punching it until it let go,” he said.
Kenny says he was inspired to fight back after thinking of surfing legend Mick Fanning. Fanning encountered a shark during a surfing competition in South Africa back in 2015 and managed to escape.
During his own encounter, Kenny says he was worried about where the shark was and whether it would come for his legs.
“If it took my legs, I’d be gone. I wouldn’t have been able to walk out, get out,” he said. “And there was no one else in the water with me. No one at all.”
Once Kenny got to shore, he was taken to the hospital and received about 20 stitches. He told The West Australian that he has no ill will toward the shark.
“I was in his world. He was just going about his business and I headbutted him so he retaliated,” he said.