Last week, an Australian kayaker was attacked by a 13-foot tiger shark while fishing offshore from the Sunshine Coast. Despite the terrifying ordeal, 31-year-old Kyle Roberts managed to escape the attack unscathed.
While initial details about the encounter were just beginning to emerge when we reported on the story last week, Roberts recently shared a harrowing first-hand account of the attack and how he survived.
The Facebook post details how he launched his Hobie Revo 13 kayak at five in the morning and was trolling for sharks. After catching and releasing a small hammerhead, he continued fishing for another 15 minutes before the incident. Despite observing no surface activity or hits on the fish finder, his boat was struck from beneath and Roberts was launched him into the water.
After swimming back to the kayak, which was on its side, Roberts grabbed ahold of the boat and looked over at the bottom of the craft. It was a sight he would not soon forget.
A 13-foot tiger shark, approximately the same size of his boat, had its teeth sunk into the plastic of the boat. With Roberts hanging onto the cockpit and the shark biting the bottom of the boat with its head, back and dorsal fin out of the water, the Hobie was the only thing separating Roberts from the jaws of the huge fish.
After a few seconds, the shark detached from the boat and its tail brushed against Roberts’ legs. At this point, the boat fully capsized and Roberts climbed on top of his flipped vessel to get his limbs out of the water. After sticking his fingers inside of the fresh bite marks – which would later be recorded as a 47 centimeter bite circumference – Roberts barrel rolled the kayak to right it. After hopping back into the seat, he quickly grabbed his radio and paddle as the kayak began to sink tail first.
After using the radio to call for help from both local kayakers and the Caloundra Coast Guard, Roberts proceeded to climb onto the nose of the kayak and attempted to paddle it like a prone surfboard. He began to shake uncontrollably from both shock and water temperature, but tried to control his breathing as he continued paddling his partially-submerged boat for at least 30 minutes. Thankfully, he was eventually rescued by both a fellow kayaker and a lifeguard on a jetski.
While Roberts will no doubt be haunted by nightmares from this encounter, he is extremely fortunate that’s the only damage he’ll be left with. Check out his full account below: