Thurston family’s shock as surfer son reveals how he survived shark attack

Charlie Fry on Australian TV 9 Network
Charlie Fry on Australian TV 9 Network

The family of a young doctor who made headlines after being attacked by a shark have said the incident won’t stop him getting back in the water.

Charlie Fry, 25, who grew up in Thurston, found himself appearing on news pages, websites and social media the world over after fending off a shark – by punching it on the nose.

The injuries suffered by Charlie Fry who was bitten by a shark

The injuries suffered by Charlie Fry who was bitten by a shark

He was left with superficial puncture wounds on his right shoulder and upper arm after the attack on Monday while surfing off Avoca Beach on the Australian coast, 60 miles north of Sydney.

Dr Fry, who emigrated to Australia two months ago to work at nearby Gosford Hospital, said he had recently watched a video on YouTube in which Australian professional surfer Mick Fanning had recounted punching a great white to escape an attack unharmed.

Mum, Helen Fry, who lives in Thurston and is a teacher at Thurston Community College, said: “He called on Monday morning due to the time difference and said:‘I’ve got a funny story. I’m absolutely fine..but...

“I waited with bated breath, and then he said: ‘but I have been bitten by a shark’.

“I was extremely shocked and concerned, but he played it down and told us not to worry.

“Luckily his injury is not serious and he’s already back on shift today with a bandage on his arm.

“He has always been very adventurous and sporty and so it doesn’t come as a surprise that he punched it on the nose.

“He might be a bit more cautious next time, but I would imagine he will be back in the water as soon as he can.”

Dr Fry, whose other hobbies include hockey and athletics, told Australian Nine Network television: “All I was thinking was, ‘I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die’. So when it happened, I was like ‘just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose’.

“So Mick, if you’re watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.”

Dr Fry, first started surfing while on family holidays.

“He was always very good at it. He had just never come across a shark before,” added Mrs Fry