I punched a shark in the face after it ripped my leg to pieces in horror attack then swam for my life to the shore

A GUTSY grandad has told how he punched a shark in the face and frantically swam back to shore after it ripped his leg to pieces in a horror attack.

Richard Stubbs, 77, was enjoying a day snorkelling at Salty Sea Fossils at the Yallingup Lagoon in Western Australia when the beast struck.

Richard Stubbs, 77, bravely punched the shark as it chowed down on his leg


Richard Stubbs, 77, bravely punched the shark as it chowed down on his legCredit: 7News
The grandad suffered a gruesome gash after brawling with the beast


The grandad suffered a gruesome gash after brawling with the beastCredit: 7News

Lurking among the seaweed below the excited group on the excursion was a 7ft shark waiting for its moment of opportunity.

While Richard was swimming in the water on Saturday, the fearsome predator had selected him as its victim and began to maul his leg.

The grandfather, from Dunsborough, south of Perth, felt its terrifying teeth sink into his flesh, but didn’t know what was attacking him.

He told 7News: “All of a sudden something hit me and hit my leg hard, and I thought, ‘What is that?’

“I was very frightened. I really didn’t know what to do. It was very instantaneous.”

Refusing to let the sea creature get the better of him, Richard then decided to stage a dramatic escape – and counterattack.

He managed to thump the shark to scare it away while freeing himself from its frenzied grip.

The gang of snorkellers quickly rushed to his aid when they realised what had happened, helping him swim the 50m back to the safety of the shore.

A tearful Richard said: “Just thinking about it, the whole thing, the whole occasion that arose, I’m just lucky to have that support and the people around me. I love them.”

He suffered a gruesome gash to his right leg as the shark had managed to take a large chunk out of his calf.

The grandad was taken to hospital following the extraordinary battle with the beast, where he was treated for his injuries.

It is thought that a wobbegong shark bit Richard on the leg, a species typically found in reefs and shallow coastal waters.

They often stalk the waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean, particularly around Australia and Indonesia, but are not considered deadly.

A shark alert was put in place in the area following the attack.

Just two days later, another Aussie experienced an eerily similar ordeal in the ocean after his leg was savaged by a great white shark.

The surfer, in his 20s, incredibly “saved his own life” and swam 600m back to shore after wrestling with the creature at Gnarabup Beach.

He had been riding the waves in the Margaret River region on Monday morning when he was ambushed by the shark.


The terrifying moment the surfer was attacked was caught on camera.

The incident marks the seventh shark attack on beaches across Western Australia this year.  

Western Australia’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development is investigating the attack. 

Officials have urged swimmers to take extra care around the Gnarabup and Prevelly areas due to the presence of sharks.

They are continuing to monitor activity in the region’s coastal waters and asked locals to report any sightings to the Water Police on 9442 8600.

In February, a teenage girl was mauled to death by a shark after she jumped off her jet ski to swim with a pod of dolphins.

Stella Berry had been enjoying a day on Swan River with her pals when she was attacked by what was thought to be a bull shark.

A swimmer was then dragged underwater and killed by a shark in front of dozens of fishermen and beachgoers over a week later.

The tragedy at Little Bay Beach near Malabar, the first deadly attack in nearly 60 years near Sydney, left witnesses vomiting and shaking.

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In April, an 11-year-old boy was mauled by a shark while snorkelling just a few metres from the shore in the Shire of Exmouth.

A surfer, 46, then passed away after being ambushed by a shark at a popular beach near Elliston in May.

Richard emotionally praised his snorkelling pals for rushing to his aid


Richard emotionally praised his snorkelling pals for rushing to his aidCredit: 7News
The 77-year-old was initially unaware of what had bitten him


The 77-year-old was initially unaware of what had bitten himCredit: 7News

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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