New surfer experiences first great white shark encounter
IN THE relatively short 11 months Evans Head teenager Jye Grainger has been well enough to spend any decent amount of time in the surf, he's witnessed first-hand something surfers with decades of experience have never seen.
A three to four metre great white shark jumping clear out of the water just over 100m away.
It was only in December last year, the $300,000 per year cystic fibrosis "miracle" drug Kalydeco was put on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, making it available to the majority of compatible Cystic Fibrosis (CF) suffers.
Before Kalydeco, Jye was lucky to spend 20 minutes in the surf. Now, he's been known to spend up to eight hours riding the waves.
On Thursday morning, he was enjoying a rare surf with both his older brothers Nat and Joel Daley at Main Beach in Evans Head.
"I had just caught a wave in and I was paddling back out the back to go and sit where my brothers were and Nat was a little bit further out than Joel," he said.
Great white shark appears
"Joel had a good view out the back and then as Nat turned to look out for a wave, this thing jumped out into the air.
"It was definitely a great white, there's no doubt about it. It just had all the characteristics like white body and all that."
Jye said he and his brothers paddled into shore as quickly as possible, making it back safely.
"I kept looking back and they just kept telling me to go, go and I was thinking I'm going to have to turn around and get one of my brothers on my board if they get attacked," he said.
New shark alarms used
"The shark alarms had just been fitted and they had to play (it) straight away because a stand-up paddle boarder had just come around north wall and didn't realise.
"So I had to go and flag him in as the sirens played."
Jye said while the close encounter was frightening, it hasn't deterred him from surfing.
"I'm going to go back in, I'm just going to wait for the weather to clear up because it was a really murky day," he said.