Great white shark launches lad from kayak after sinking jaws into it during race

A great white shark tossed a man from his surf ski kayak into the sea in a "freak attack" mid-race.

Nat Drummond, 19, has joked he's got a good shot at winning the lottery after his remarkable luck dodging the jaws of a shark which chewed a hole into his kayak.

Speeding across the water at Seacliff Surf Lifesaving Club, near Adelaide, Australia, Nat had made it to about 700m from shore when he was forced to swim for his life.

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Shocking snaps show the damage caused by the curious shark to the kayaker's vessel from which he was horrifyingly propelled, The Mirror reports.

Nat had been competing at about 700m out to sea at in a surf ski kayak on Sunday, when he was suddenly thrown into the water.

A large shark had bitten through the skis of his craft, causing him to be ejected and placed immediately into harm's way.

With only moments separating him from a potentially gruesome end, Nat swam quickly away, before being rescued by a lifesaving crew in an inflatable rescue boat.

He was then taken back to the shore and checked over – and miraculously found to be uninjured. Patrols were then launched along the beach to locate the shark, which is believed to be a great white measuring about 3m in length.

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Reflecting on how he avoided death, the kayaker told 9 News: "I just ripped my leg rope (attached to the surf ski) off and I swam towards these guys here who were paddling towards me, and then just jumped onto their craft and pulled me out of the water to safety.

"It was an absolute freak accident. One of those one-in-a-million things that happened.

"I might go and buy a lottery ticket."

But Nat, who shared photos of his damaged kayak in the aftermath, believes the incident shouldn't put people off taking part in watersports in the area, saying: "We were out in pretty deep waters, this shouldn't put other people off."

Parts of the damaged craft later washed up on the beach.

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Authorities closed several miles of the beach on Sunday following the incident, with life savers due to meet with South Australia police to discuss when it may be safe for reopening.

A Surf Life Saving SA helicopter searched for the shark but was unable to locate it after the incident.

South Australian Ocean and Surf Ski Paddlers race director Craig Burton said: "The mark was around [Nat's] leg area so if it was on another angle, it might've been a different story.

"We all know that there are sharks out in the ocean; obviously the further you go out the more likely they'll be there.

"[It's] just something to be aware of, but Surf Life Saving SA has good measures to try and minimise the risk with patrols all weekends and over summer."


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