Shark attack survivor out of coma, says he’ll never surf again


Craig Ison says he’s through with surfing. Photo: Ricky Forsyth, via ‘The Daily Telegraph’

A question often asked of shark attack survivors is whether they'll ever venture back into the ocean, and when this involves surfers the answer is typically yes.

But Australia's Craig Ison, who this week emerged from a coma after being nearly killed during an attack last Friday off Evans Head in New South Wales, made it clear that he'll never set foot in the ocean again.


Craig Ison’s surfboard, with damage caused by shark. Photo: George Daley, via ‘The Daily Telegraph’

"There's no way I'm getting back in the water, no way in the world," Ison told The Daily Telegraph, in his first interview since he was bitten on his left side by a great white shark. "I managed to beat a white pointer. That'll do me."

Ison, 52, suffered severe hand and leg wounds during a bite that was literally one millimeter from severing his femoral artery, as the former professional boxer threw punches to try to ward off the predator.

He was treated on the beach by paramedics, and at a nearby clinic before being rushed to Gold Coast University Hospital in critical condition.

Had the artery been severed, Ison would have bled to death within minutes. (The shark left a tooth and tooth fragments in Ison’s thigh.)

The surfer told The Daily Telegraph‘s Laura Banks that the shark attack was “personal.”

"He was saying to me, ‘Don't even bother thinking you're going to get out of this one, mate. You're f….ed,’ " Ison said. "But I said to the shark, 'F… you, I'll fight dirty, too.


Great white shark, like the one pictured here, left a tooth in Craig Ison’s thigh. Photo: Flickr user Elias Levy

"His jaws were just ripping and tearing and I’m there just looking at it. I thought I'd better do something, so I went bang, bang, bang and punched him four times and he let go."

Asked if he wanted to keep the tooth and fragments as mementos, Ison scoffed.

"I don't want his teeth, grind them up and throw them away," he said.

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