An Aussie surfer who almost died after he was attacked by a great white has won a six-year legal battle to keep a tooth the shark left in his surfboard.
Chris Blowes lost his leg after he was attacked while surfing at Fishery Bay, Port Lincoln on Anzac Day, 2015. He had been paddling in after a morning surf when he was attacked twice by a great white shark.
Its tooth was wedged in his board, but Chris wasn’t allowed to keep it because under South Australia law, white sharks are a protected species. This basically means that people aren’t allowed to take, harm, harass, sell, buy, or possess any part of the beast.
But after six years, Chris was given a special permit from MP David Basham, which allowed him to finally take home the tooth. And boy is it big.
“Thanks @david_basham_mp for getting me a permit to possess the white shark’s tooth that was stuck in my surfboard after my attack,” Chris wrote on Instagram.
“Under strict conditions I am now allowed to have this tooth that has been with the fisheries for the last 6 years.”
In his own words, Chris said the attack felt like he was hit by a truck.
“I had lost a leg and if that wasn’t bad enough, I was bleeding out and at the bottom of a cliff,” his website reads.
And, he was over 30 kilometres away from the nearest country hospital and a further 600 kilometres from the nearest trauma centre in Adelaide.
His mates acted fast to tourniquet his leg and then rushed him to meet the incoming paramedics. Chris received just under 90 minutes of consistent CPR from paramedics, nurses, and doctors who brought him back to life.
Chris still surfs, by the way. He wrote that “surfing now is hard. But not surfing would be harder.”
The legend is now a motivational speaker and has shared his extraordinary story of survival and rehabilitation in his new book, Caught Inside, which you can suss out right here.
Absolutely unreal, if you ask me. Bloody hell.