Balian surfer describes getting bumped by shark minutes before suspected shark attack

Just moments before an Australian surfer was allegedly bitten by a shark in Balian yesterday, another surfer says he was “bumped”. 

Local Bali papers reported that a 48-year-old Australian man was injured yesterday morning, allegedly bitten by a shark, while out surfing at Balian Beach, Tabanan, a famous Bali surf spot. 

Thankfully, the Aussie’s injuries were not severe, according to reports, and the surfer was said to have been rushed to BIMC for treatment following the suspected shark attack. 

Mentawai charter boat company owner and Balian resident Twiggy Van Ryan told Coconuts Bali that he was in the water at the time of the incident. 

“He was bitten on the right hand from below wrist to across all 5 fingers . He’s a paramedic , from up Noosa way i think,” Van Ryan wrote to Coconuts Bali in a message on Tuesday. 

Van Ryan says before the incident, he and another surfer were “bumped about 2 minutes apart, all in the area of the bite incident.”

And just the day before, Van Ryan says his friend was bumped also. 

Understandably, “she got out straight away.” 

Though the shark didn’t appear to be too big, “maybe just 1 m in length,” there are “quite a few of them,” according to Van Ryan. 

While shark attacks are not too common in Bali, American surfer Ryan Boarman was bit on the same West Bali beach in April 2016. The surfer survived, but the attack called for him to undergo multiple surgeries in Singapore. 

At the time of Boarman’s attack, surf site Stab magazine quoted American expat and long-time Balian resident, Eddie Biancardi, as saying that the American’s incident made for the fifth shark attack in five years at Balian.

“The truth is, there have always been sharks here. I’ve been living in Balian for nine years and surfing here for about 15 years, and I’ve always seen sharks. They have a tendency to jump out of the water,” Biancardi said.


Editor’s note: This story has been edited for accuracy. 

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