An Australian teenager was catapulted from his ski—an ocean-going kayak—while competing in a race. What shot him into the air? A giant shark. Nineteen-year-old Nathan Drummond was paddling in the South Australian Ocean Paddlers series at Seacliff Beach when a large shark took a bite out of his boat and launched him out of the water. 

“The shark just came up and hit me from beneath,” Drummond told 9News in Australia. “My ski just kind of lifted above the water, and then the next thing I knew I was in the air. Then I was in the water, and I saw this figure just kind of fall back into the water—a big shark.” 

The shark hit the kayak right below where Drummond was sitting, taking a big chunk out of the boat. When Drummond hit the water, he ripped off his safety rope and swam toward a group of his fellow competitors. The paddlers pulled him out of the water. 

It’s unclear what kind of shark bit Drummond’s vessel and punted him into the air. “The early indications are that it’s possibly a great white, but we can’t be certain about that,” said Daniel Willetts with Surf Lifesaving SA. Reports estimate that the shark was around 10 feet long. 

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After the near-disastrous attack, Drummond’s mother was especially grateful. “Your quick thinking was best on ground,” she wrote in a Facebook post addressing the rescuers. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” As for Drummond, he seems to feel more lucky than anything. “I might buy a lottery ticket,” he said.