A FORMER pupil of Perthshire’s Strathallan School has survived a potentially-lethal encounter with a shark in Australia.
Richard Wands (33), who now lives in Australia, was surfboarding in the waters off Trigg Bay near Perth on December 22 when a tiger shark attacked.
“I was basically trying to follow it as it circled me, then it came round and it rammed me,” Mr Wands told reporters in Australia.
The drilling engineer picked up his board and used it to strike the shark’s face until it swam away, but it came around and went for him again.
“It was going to happen, this was a final attack,” he said. “I had to do something or I was going to lose an arm or a leg.”
He hit the shark again, then yelled to alert others in the water and paddled furiously to shore.
He added: “It was a heart-stopping moment and was the meanest, nastiest, most frightening thing ever … I was totally scared and definitely thought I would be coming out of the water with one appendage fewer.”
The beach was closed for most of the day as a number of sharks could be seen feasting on a dolphin carcass.
Mr Wands had been working in the oil industry in Aberdeen until eight months ago when he moved to Australia after taking a contract with a local company.
A keen surfer who learned off the coast of Scotland, Mr Wands had been keen to pursue his hobby in warmer waters.
His father Andrew Wands is an ex-teacher who taught English at Crieff’s Ardvreck School and was a geography teacher and house master at Strathallan.
Photo by Albert Kok / Wikimedia Commons