Surfer: 'Something brushed against my right foot'
BROKEN Head local Harry Docking was the last one left in the water on Tuesday morning when it happened.
His son had already paddled in with a knee injury - in what possibly proved to be a lucky omen.
Then his mate Mitch paddled in from the Suffolk Park break after becoming "nervous" about an approaching bait ball frenzy.
"Just as he got to the shore my board was bumped at the fin end and something brushed against my right foot," Mr Docking, 58, said.
"I saw the colour and the shape of it, and it was wider than my board.
"It wasn't a 'bronzie', it wasn't that colour; it was more torpedo shaped, it was pointy.
"And I could feel its skin.
"It was big enough to displace enough water to move my board sideways.
"Based on its girth I'd assume about three metres, way bigger than a dolphin."
Mr Docking never saw the shark coming, despite it coming out of clear water.
"It happened so quickly," he said.
His heart had a "little flutter" and he paddled straight in, but said he wasn't particularly stressed.
"I've always been involved in the sort of sports that could take you out, and generally when I'm in a dangerous situation I get quite clinical and logical," he said.
"I actually start to go into survival mode."
And recent events made the encounter almost mundane.
Last week at the nearby Taylors Creek estuary towards Broken Head he witnessed a huge shark jump "clear from the water" 50m from him.
And two weeks ago at the same spot he saw one in the water, which the black Air T&G helicopter also spotted, the pilot indicating it was five metres long.
Mr Docking helped signal everyone in from the water and the beach was closed.
He had also witness-ed a shark "chopping up a baitball" just north of Wategos.