Last month, beaches in the Ballina area were closed to the public for multiple days after a NSW teenager was brutally attacked by a shark.
Cooper Allen was surfing with two mates at Lighthouse Beach on the first day of school holidays, an area that he’d surfed more than a thousand times.
He’d hit the water at 8am for his usual two or three rides, but 40 minutes into his surf he was knocked off his board by an enormous 3 and a half metre Great White Shark.
Last night, Cooper appeared on Channel 7‘s ‘Sunday Night’ with the two friends that were with him, Tom Harper and Jae Waters, and explained that the experience was nothing like what he’d thought it’d be.
“I had no clue that it was anywhere near me… I’ve thought about a shark attack before and what’s going to happen if I got attacked by a shark and it’s nothing like how I imagined it.”It was a beautiful day … I literally just paddled out I was sitting on my board for maybe a second and then bang. Everything [is] just going through your head, I remember thinking ‘Am I going to bleed to death? Am I going to die?’”
He says when the attack happened, he didn’t actually realise he’d been injured:
“I felt the power of this thing and the pressure and I just fall off my board. I just see a fin cutting across and I thought ‘this is a shark I’ve just been attacked by a shark’ and straight away I turn to the two people I was surfing with, Tom and Jae, and they were looking at me and their faces were just utter horror.I wasn’t feeling the pain of the bite I was trying to tell myself I’ve just been bumped … and then I looked down and I’m bit. And then I felt weak, and I thought ‘I’ve just got to get to shore’.”
Oh, you wanna see what his leg looked like? You gore-lovin’ daredevil, you. The shark’s teeth managed to miss his major arteries by centimetres, and he says if the surfboard hadn’t been there, he’d be missing a leg.
CONTENT WARNING: YUCKY.
— Amanda Abate (@AmandaAbate) September 26, 2016
His friend Tom, who was understandably distressed while reliving the incident, said the shark began following them after the initial attack:
“I got Cooper and Jay was just towing him in we were going in the beach and I kept looking back to make sure it didn’t come back and it was just following us, behind us all the way.”
But in typical ‘Strayan fashion, Cooper was in good spirits throughout the ordeal. He asked paramedics if it would get him out of sitting his HSC, and also requested that no one tell his mum (who was working in Broome at the time).
His mum knew anyway though; she says she read about a 17-year-old being attacked in Ballina and knew “straight away if that’s not Cooper it will be someone he knows”.
But bless, Cooper just wants to get back to the water:
“The water is just where I like to be. I want to surf again.I don’t know if I’m going as soon … as they cut the stitches out [of my leg or] I’m going to be running down to North Wall straight out there, I wouldn’t say that no way.”
While stories like Cooper‘s are ultimately terrifying, it’s important to remember that the ocean is a shark’s home. By choosing to enter their domain, you are risking your life. Every. Single. Time.
Culling sharks fucking sucks; let’s respect them and their home instead.
Source: Sunday Night / Facebook.