Western Australian spearfisherman Keiron Benson hugged a shark to prevent it from attacking him after it shot him in the eye at Five Fingers Reef, Coral Bay.
- Keiron Benson escaped a shark attack in WA
- He went through the shark’s eye and hugged its tail.
A harpoon-wielding fisherman narrowly avoided being mauled to death by a ferocious shark by hugging him for his life after it speared him in the eye when it suddenly attacked him.
The Albany man, Keiron Benson, and his family had spent several days at Five Fingers Reef, on the north coast of Western Australia, during school holidays earlier this month.
But what had been a fun snorkeling, fishing and swimming trip took a dramatic turn when Mr. Benson decided to go fishing on his last day.
The father said that he wanted to celebrate the end of the trip by catching a fish to cook for dinner.
At approximately 3 pm he grabbed his rifle and the family took their boat some 200 m from the coast.
Mr. Benson dove in alone while his partner, daughter and stepson waited on the boat.
Keiron Benson (above) survived a shark attack at Five Fingers Reef, Western Australia, earlier this month.
Mr. Benson had spent several days at Five Fingers Reef (above) swimming, snorkeling, and fishing with his partner, daughter, and stepson.
“I was about to turn back when I saw a big shape in the water,” he told the abc.
The shape turned out to be a large shark that Mr. Benson believes was a tiger or bull shark.
“It started circling above me, every time it got closer…it got bigger and I realized it wasn’t a reef shark like we’d seen before,” he said.
At this point, Mr. Benson had strayed quite a ways from his family’s boat, so he did his best to wave them over to help while still trying to stay calm.
When he looked back into the water, the shark was near the end of his harpoon.
At that moment, Mr. Benson noticed that the shark instantly became more aggressive and came closer.
It was right at the end of the gun. I just thought, ‘Shoot’ and I did, and at that exact moment he must have decided to poke me and attack me,” he said.
A shark (example above) attempted to attack Mr. Benson while spearfishing, knocking him unconscious by shooting his spear through his eye.
Mr. Benson (above) survived the rest of the attack by holding on to the shark’s tail as it tried to bite him.
His weapon managed to hit the shark’s eye socket, knocking him unconscious, but the momentum he had built up to attack meant that he slammed into Mr. Benson’s side.
With his family still yards away, the dad knew he only had a few moments to save his life.
‘The tail hooked under my shoulder [and it] It gave me the idea to hold on. I grabbed the tail and just hugged it,” she said.
Just a few seconds later, the shark regained consciousness and started trying to attack.
“It started arching back… biting at me… we started spinning underwater several times in one spin,” Benson said.
The couple continued to struggle as the boat pulled up alongside them.
For several horrifying moments, Benson and the shark wallowed in the water as his family watched.
It was only when the shark suddenly dove that the father saw an opportunity to escape and jumped into the boat.
“I just flew into the boat, I don’t remember touching the sides, I just jumped,” he said.
Mr. Benson (pictured with his partner, Hollie) managed to board his family’s boat and escaped the attack without serious injury.
Miraculously, he managed to escape the encounter with only bruises.
Fisheries workers are using DNA from Mr. Benson’s spear to identify which species of shark was responsible for the attack.
It is believed that the shark may have approached the shore in an attempt to find fish during an unusually calm season.