Well-known Banks Peninsula man Charlie Dudley has been attacked by a shark and fallen out of tall trees.
Now he's about to become the subject of an international study into shark attacks ? even though his encounter in Lyttelton Harbour was more than 40 years ago.
He still has clear memories of the day he was attacked and that knowledge is set to come in handy when he completes a questionnaire asking about the skirmish that happened on the last Saturday in November, 1963.
Dudley, 62, received a letter and reporting form last week from an investigator for the Global Shark Attack File, based in Princeton in the United States. He plans to send it back to investigator Richard Weeks within the next two weeks.
"I don't have any problems remembering it," he said.
The long-time Church Bay resident was a 20-year-old builder's apprentice when the shark attack happened. He was sailing with 14-year-old John Wilson in the R-class yacht Pixie between Church Bay and Quail Island when a gust of wind capsized the yacht.
The pair were waiting in the water to be picked up when Dudley felt something grab his leg, hard. At first he thought it was Wilson having him on and put his hand in the water to push him. But when he brought it back up it was bleeding and he realised it was a shark.
They were rescued by a pick-up boat and Dudley taken to Christchurch Hospital with lacerations to his hand, thigh and calf. The third finger of his left hand needed to be amputated.
Dudley said even though the attack happened many years ago, he was often asked about it.
"People want to know about what happened. How they hear about it I don't know. They other day someone asked if I was the guy 'that got chewed up by a barracouta'. I said 'not quite'."
At the time there was some suggestion it had been a barracouta that had attacked him. But Dudley has no doubts it was a shark.
The attack did not dampen his enthusiasm for yachting.
After spending three months in hospital recuperating, he was back out sailing "before the season finished". "And I've carried on sailing ever since. It didn't stop me," Dudley said.
His clear recollections of the attack will help him with the research for Princeton. Investigator Richard Weeks, who is working from Dunedin, has collected accounts of unprovoked shark attacks worldwide over a number of years and now has about 350 records.
Since Christmas he has been working for the Global Shark Attack File, including reviewing historical attacks in New Zealand. In the letter Weeks wrote Dudley, he said shark attacks in New Zealand waters were rare and any information he could provide would be valuable.
Dudley has also made contact with his Wilson, his sailing partner on the day, to get his account of events to pass on.