Fraser Penman, 22, Perth, WA
￼Bobbing up and down on my surfboard, I was waiting for the perfect wave. My brother Logan, 20, floated nearby.
Suddenly, there was a huge rush of water as something slammed into my board. The force was so great, it launched me into the air. As I came plummeting back down, I realised it was a great white shark!
To my horror, I landed right on top of the beast. Fear coursed through me. Judging by its fin, which was the length of my arm, the shark was huge.
And now I was riding it!
Its skin felt horrible, like sandpaper, and I could only imagine how sharp its teeth were.
‘Punch it!’ Logan yelled, paddling frantically, heading straight for the killer creature.
My leg was still attached to the rope on my board and the shark seemed to be tangled in it. As it thrashed about wildly, I was dragged up and down.
I’m going to drown! I panicked gasping desperately for air.
I was wrestling with a great white!
Then, I felt Logan grab my wetsuit and drag me towards him. Thankfully, the shark stopped thrashing enough for me to get back on my board. But now we needed to get away.
There was a huge wave but I was completely out of breath and too scared to put my legs in the water.
‘Paddle!’ Logan screamed, pushing me as hard as he could.
As the next wave rolled in, I knew I had to catch it. As I made it back to shore, Logan and I threw our arms around each other.
‘You saved my life,’ I said.
‘My heart sank when I saw it,’ Logan replied. ‘It was about five metres long!’
But he said there was no question about coming to my rescue. I was so lucky he was there. Our parents, Alison and Stuart, were relieved too.
‘We’re so glad you’re safe,’ Mum said.
Remarkably, the nightmare hasn’t put us off surfing. In future though, I’m planning to stick to riding waves – not great whites!
Originally published in that's life! Issue 44, 2016.