Teen nudged by a 3m shark
Ruby Adams and her dad Albert back at the Denmark beach. Picture: Josh Nyman/Albany Advertiser

The father of a teenage girl who was nudged by a shark off the State's south coast at the weekend says his "amazing" daughter was determined to get back in the water after her frightening experience.

Thirteen-year-old Ruby Adams was one of about eight surfers at Denmark's Ocean Beach on Saturday when the shark, estimated to be 3m long, nudged her while she was sitting on her board about 11.30am.

"I didn't know what to do when I saw the shark," she said. "I just kept still and it swam up to me."

Witnesses said they were enjoying watching a pod of dolphins in the area when the mood quickly changed.

Ruby's father Albert said the shark swam half a metre past him before charging towards his daughter, who was in the middle of the pack.

"I saw a white flash and that made me realise it wasn't a dolphin, then it was just massive," Mr Adams said.

"I yelled out, 'shark' at that point, Ruby let out a little squeal and I swam straight over to it to try to fend it off."

Mr Adams likened the shark's torso to a wine barrel - such was its girth. "I don't think the shark was intent on a meal or anything, thank God," he said.

"Ruby reckoned it nudged her fins then tugged on her leash."

Fellow surfer Jack Day, who had just paddled out for a wave, said he thought the shark may have been a bronze whaler.

"We all paddled in, some sat on the sandbank for a while and a few ventured back out after lunch," Mr Day said.

Bronze whalers are known to inhabit the area and have been caught by fishermen from nearby rocks.

Mr Adams said Ruby, in Year 8 at Denmark High School, was determined not to let the close shave keep her out of the water.

He said she demanded a trip to Hillier Bay, west of Denmark, on Sunday, where she paddled out in big swell for a surf.

"She wants to go surfing this arvo after school as well," he said.

"She's fine, I'm amazed at her."

Ruby and her father returned to Ocean Beach yesterday and paddled out to the break about 200m from where the shark charged at her. Two other surfers were already in the water.

Soon after they entered the water, a pod of dolphins passed nearby, giving Mr Adams and Ruby another anxious moment.

After Saturday's incident, Mr Adams spoke to an off-duty Department of Environment and Conservation research officer who reported the incident to authorities.

The beach is not patrolled and was not closed after the shark sighting.

Ruby Adams back in the water at Ocean Beach. Picture: Josh Nyman/Albany Advertiser

The West Australian

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