WHEN Charles Lindop left Huddersfield for Australia, it was for a life of sun, sea and sand.
The last thing he expected was that one day he would be called on to rescue one of his family from the jaws of a great white shark.
But that’s what happened after son Andrew Lindop suffered a horrific leg injury when he was bitten by one of the beasts.
Mr Lindop, who grew up at Imperial Road in Edgerton and went to King James’s School in Almondbury, was surfing with his son when the incident happened.
Now he has spoken of the moment he saw the two-metre-long predator sink its teeth into the 15-year-old’s leg.
He said: “It was incomprehensible. My brain couldn’t process the images my eyes were seeing. It was almost like having an out-of-body experience.
“Andrew was screaming: ‘Dad, I’ve been bitten by a shark. I can’t feel my leg. Is it still there?’
“I was reassuring Andrew and telling him everything would be all right, got him to shore and tried to treat him until the ambulances got there. It was like being an actor in a film.”
Mr Lindop, who moved to Sydney in 1986 after falling in love with the country on holiday, now works as a consultant for technology businesses.
He had gone with his surf-mad son to Avalon beach north of Sydney for an early morning surf on March 1.
Andrew was later due to work a shift patrolling Palm Beach, better known as Summer Bay from TV soap Home and Away.
Mr Lindop said: “I was paddling out and I saw the shark come from beneath him and go for Andrew right in front of my eyes.
“When you live somewhere like this and are out surfing, you are always cognisant that there are sharks around, but there are so few incidents you tell yourself it’s never going to happen to you.
“To have your son’s life in your hands is a huge thing to deal with.
“If you do something wrong you really don’t know what the consequences could be. It’s no different from a father having to save a son from a car accident. You just do whatever you have to.”
Mr Lindop said the shark bite missed a major artery in his son’s left leg by a matter of millimetres.
But the teenager, who has a 2ft scar, is now back at school and is recovering well.
Mr Lindop said: “We have to be a bit guarded about how things will be in the long-term, but we have to assume that everything is going to be OK. We’re just taking it a bit at a time.”
And he added that Andrew was determined to get back in the water as soon as possible.
He said: “We love our ocean sports and we are not going to give it up.
“Telling us to stop surfing would be like telling a rugby league player to stop playing because one day there’s a chance he could injure himself.”