Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Shark attack survivor makes joyous return to the ocean

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Shark attack survivor makes joyous return to the ocean

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'Beautiful human': shark attack survivor makes exhilarating return to the ocean

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A popular Sunshine Coast surfer has made a heartwarming return to the ocean nine months after a serious shark attack.

Joe Hoffman was attacked by a three-metre Great White, just before 4.30pm on July 5, 2021, off Crescent Head in New South Wales.

Joe Hoffmann’s board after the attack last July.

The born and bred in Mudjimba man, who is now 26, sustained severe injuries to his right arm and was airlifted to Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital where he underwent multiple extensive surgeries.

Joe received an outpouring of community support and a Go Fund Me page raised almost $70,000 to help cover medical bills.


After months of recovery and rehabilitation to maximise functionality of his right arm, Joe has slowly been returning to the water and the pastime he loves.

A collection of images captured on a perfect Noosa day and shared by local surf photographer, Kane Brown, has wonderfully depicted the comeback.

Kane shared 17 images on Instagram in a mixture of black and white and colour with the caption: “Joe/Noosa. It’s so nice to see this beautiful human back in the ocean.”

Joe Hoffman pictured at Noosa by photographer Kane Brown.

The post has received hundreds of likes and many have responded with emojis to congratulate Joe.

One comment read: “These (are) truly special.”

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Joe has been sharing his journey through his own social media and maintained he did not have any hard feelings toward the shark.

Joe Hoffman paddles out at Noosa. Picture: Kane Brown

“I still don’t really think ‘attacked’ neatly describes how I feel about my run (in) with a shark,” Joes wrote in a post on Instagram.

“Certainty not emotionally … as though a 10ft GW would purposely ever try and hurt my feelings.

“Bitten yeah but clearly a mistaken identity.”

Joe Hoffman in full flight at Noosa National Park. Picture: Kane Brown

Joe’s father Bill – a prominent Sunshine Coast journalist, mother Wendy and sister Nina are well known in the community.


They have previously thanked the support received by both the Mudjimba and Byron Bay community, where Joe had been living.