A man has escaped a 4-metre tiger shark that attacked his kayak off Moffat Beach on the Sunshine Coast this morning, with the shark continuing to circle him while he waited for help.
- Kyle Roberts was paddling about a kilometre off Moffat Beach and was knocked into the air by the shark
- The shark punctured the kayak but Mr Roberts hung on as the shark continued to circle
- The kayaker, who lives on the Sunshine Coast, was shaken but not injured
Kyle Roberts, who lives locally, was paddling about a kilometre off the beach when the shark knocked him off his kayak, according to police.
Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) duty officer David McLean said Mr Roberts was in shock when lifeguards reached him on jet skis.
"There was no blood in the water — nothing else to attract any sharks — just came out of the blue, completely broadsided him, and as he stated, he's very lucky to be here," Mr McLean said.
"It had punctured the kayak — he managed to get back to the kayak and hung on and fortunately there was an air bubble at the front of the kayak which managed to keep it afloat until we could get to him.
"He said the shark didn't make any physical contact with him, but it did make a second lunge at him after biting his craft, and it just missed him fortunately.
"When he swam back to it [the kayak], the shark was still holding onto his kayak, then let go, then did another lunge, and that lunge missed him and landed beside the kayak."
Mr McLean said while Mr Roberts was waiting for help "he was starting to panic, especially when the shark was starting to circle him".
"He would have been through a fair state of panic and that was evident in his voice when he was talking on the radio," he said.
"He was paddling along in his kayak, the shark's just hit him, knocked him up in the air, out of the kayak, and he ended up 1.5 metres from his kayak."
Jacob Thomson, from the SLSQ on the Sunshine Coast, said he saw Mr Roberts in the water.
"It was a mission to find him, I'll be honest — he was quite a significant distance out to sea," Mr Thomson said.
"I was on the headland with some binoculars looking out as best I could and we had some jet skis covering quite a significant area.
"I just happened to spot him with the binoculars and directed our jet skis over to him as best we could."
Mr Thomson said Mr Roberts was shaken but not injured and even had a laugh about his ordeal.
"It was just an unbelievable experience and just the randomness of a shark attacking his kayak," Mr Thomson said.
"He's someone that does this regularly with his mates — he's a local and has never had anything like this happen before.
"I guess just the complete shock at what had occurred and that it managed to latch onto his kayak."
Communication 'black spot'
A Caloundra Coast Guard volunteer, who asked not to be named, described the frantic radio call from Mr Roberts as he was knocked off his kayak into the ocean.
"He had a radio onboard with him — he said a shark had attacked his kayak and it was sinking," the volunteer said.
"He was fairly excitable — he was in a black spot and the communication was a bit difficult."
The volunteer contacted SLSQ, who dispatched lifesavers on jet skis to rescue Mr Roberts.
"Someone was also on the headland trying to do a visual," the volunteer said.
Mr Roberts told the coast guard the shark was "circling him" while he was waiting for help.
"It knocked him in the water and he got back into the kayak," the volunteer said.
The coast guard continued to stay on the radio to Mr Roberts while the rescue team was dispatched.
"We were mainly concerned where his position was so we could guide the jet ski to his location," the volunteer said.
He said the surf lifesavers were on the water "within five minutes".
"We were keeping [Mr Roberts] appraised what was going on until the jet skis arrived," he said.
SLSQ media said lifesavers on jet skis had "performed an amazing and dramatic rescue" after receiving the call about 6.30am.