Auckland Surfer Survives Great White Shark Attack After Telling It To ‘F*ck Off’

by : Julia Banim on : 23 Feb 2020 16:00
Great white sharkNick Minogue/Facebook

A surfer from New Zealand has managed to survive a terrifying attack by a great white shark after punching it in the eye and swearing at it.

Nick Minogue, 60, of Auckland, was bitten on the arm by the huge shark on Saturday, February 22, while out surfing at Pauanui Beach. The animal then latched on to Nick’s board with its formidable teeth.


Thinking quickly, Nick recalled that sharks – quite understandably – hate being punched in the nose or eyes, and proceeded to fight for his life with this weakness in mind.

Great white sharkNick Minogue/Facebook

Speaking with the New Zealand Herald, Nick explained how he managed to whack the predator in the eye on the second attempt:

So I actually shouted at it ‘F*ck off!’ and went to punch it in the eye and missed. Then I pulled my fist back and shouted ‘F*ck off!’ again and got it right smack bang in the eye. It’s quite a big eye, about three knuckles across, and its eye kind of looked up and rolled up.

In between the two punches it crunched down a bit more on the board and then disengaged its teeth, got its jaws off and then I got brushed by the dorsal fin and the tail fin and swam off.


Nick was able to quickly paddle back to shore alongside a German surfer, who had been approximately 50 metres away from him when the shark attacked.

Nick added that he was certain he was ‘bumped by something’ on his way back to dry land:

It was a grey shark with a white bottom, probably a great white. It was a big head and jaw. I kind of sat up in shock and decided to hit it. That was the only thing to do.

Great white sharkNick Minogue/Facebook

Shark expert Riley Elliott told the New Zealand Herald how the teeth marks on Nick’s board, as well as his description of the animal, appeared to be consistent with a three metre-long great white shark.

Following his terrifying ordeal, Nick was left with a cut on his arm as well as a few teeth-holes in his wetsuit. Fortunately, he was otherwise unscathed.

Nick – who believes his wetsuit had offered some protection – told the New Zealand Herald how things could have been far, far worse:

There was blood dripping out the sleeve of my wetsuit. Thankfully it wasn’t too deep. Two teeth put holes in my wetsuit but only one punctured the skin. I’ve still got an arm and fingers, it could have been a lot worse.


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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: Animals, Auckland, great white shark, New Zealand


New Zealand Herald
  1. New Zealand Herald

    Surfer fights off Great White shark at Pauanui Beach, Coromandel, by punching it in the eye after it latches onto his board