Dunsborough surfer tells all about surviving a shark attack

Dunsborough surfer Phil Mummert with his surfboard after he was bitten and knocked off his board by a shark at Bunker Bay. Image supplied.

Dunsborough surfer Phil Mummert with his surfboard after he was bitten and knocked off his board by a shark at Bunker Bay. Image supplied.

Dunsborough surfer Phil Mummert was bitten and knocked off his surfboard by a white shark at Bunker Bay around 2.15pm on July 31, 2020.

In what can only be described as chilling, Mr Mummert shared his experience of coming face-to-face with a white shark with the Mail.

"I was surfing at The Farm when I felt a huge impact that knocked me off my board into the water," he said.

"I really did not see the shark coming at all, I just remember feeling the impact and a massive force when it hit me," he said.

"The next thing I knew I was in the water and the shark was just sitting in front of me.

"It was just sitting there pointed straight towards me within arms reach, only 30 centimetres away.

"I don't know if it had sunk in what was happening, while it was sitting there I was like, oh yup this is happening."

Mr Mummert's surfboard was already broken in half, with the back half of the board still attached to his leg by the rope.

"That back half of the board was in between me and the shark," he said.

"I don't know if it was instinct or what, I do not even remember thinking about it, I just knew if I kept that board between us maybe I would be okay.

"I just tried to shove that bit of board into its mouth, I just knew if he was biting on that it would not be biting on me.

"It was crazy I really have no sense of time, everything seemed to be in slow motion.

"The shark was just sitting there and I was just trying to shove the board into its mouth - and that is when I could see just how chunky it was - it was just massive and so wide."

The five metre shark started to circle Mr Mummert in the water.

"I was trying to keep my eyes on it all time, I did not want it to sneak up on me, I was following it so I could stay looking at it," he said.

"That is when it came around me and I saw the size of its fin, the dorsal fin that was sticking out of the water was just huge.

"It came around me and came back at me a little bit, again I was trying to jab it with the board.

"I pushed it away with my hand and felt how rough its skin was, I tried to kick it at one point, I tried to do anything to keep it away."

Another surfer Alex Oliver made his way towards Mr Mummert and pulled him up on his board.

"Once I was up on his board I don't remember seeing the shark again, it must have swam away by that point," he said.

"Two other guys Jess Woolhouse and Liam Ryan made it over to us as well.

"It was so good when those three guys were around me, at that point I knew I was going to be okay."

Mr Mummert said he could feel something on his leg but had not seen the injury and was not in any pain.

"It wasn't until we got onto the beach that I turned around to see the damage," he said.

"The guys were trying to block it and told me, no you don't want to look at it.

"Once we got to the beach one of the guys Andy clamped his hands around my leg and held on for the entire time until the paramedics arrived.

"It wasn't bleeding that much, Andy held onto my leg putting pressure on it for a good half an hour.

"I was lying on Alex's longboard there was a whole bunch of people waiting to help when we got to the beach.

"I stayed on the board like a stretcher everyone carried me from the beach to a paddock, they laid me down there and waited until the police and paramedics came.

"Not long after that the helicopter arrived and airlifited me to Bunbury hospital.

"I was in shock the whole time, there was no point I felt in pain, I guess the shock and adrenaline blocked out the pain.

"They got me on the green whistle so I never had much pain at all."

Mr Mummert's girlfriend Mish Wright was at the beach when the incident occurred, she was walking their dog at the eastern end of Bunker Bay.

"I told a couple of the guys you have to go and get my Mrs she is down there with the dog," he said.

"Liam and Jess sprinted down there to get her and told her what was going on.

"She was in shock, when they first got to her she did not know if they were talking to the right person.

"She kept saying, how do you know who I am, what are you talking about.

"They told her she should probably run and brought her up to where I was in the paddock.

"She handled everything really well and could see everyone was looking after me and everything was under control, she was super calm about it."

Mr Mummert said since the encounter with a white shark he wasn't sure how he felt about it or whether his mind was trying to block it out.

"It really hasn't hit me but I have been talking to a couple of guys who have been attacked before," he said.

"They said for a lot of them it takes a couple of weeks before it really sinks in, maybe in another week or so it might hit me.

"At the moment I am feeling okay.

"I went back down to Bunker Bay to have a bit of a look and see where it happened, it was a bit a emotional, I went with my mum and Mish.

"I am so grateful to those three guys Alex, Jess and Liam, it was just amazing how they could come towards me with such a big animal there.

"They were total strangers."

Mr Mummert has since been told when the incident occurred someone had yelled out shark.

"I didn't hear them it must have been the same second it hit me," he said.

"I don't remember hearing that at all.

"Once the person yelled out shark everyone looked over and saw it all happen.

"There are a few guys who are definitely pretty rattled having a front row seat to the incident.

"Then those guys paddled straight to me which was amazing.

"I have since caught up with them and they are just the best guys."

This story What happened when surfer Phil Mummert came face-to-face with a white shark first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.