Surfer Justin Daniels was trying to catch his first wave of the day and had just paddled over a wave when something big and grey came up from below and bit him on the hand Tuesday.
Daniels, 42, said he knew he was in trouble. He swam to his board and paddled the 4 metres to the beach as fast as he could.
“It easily could have taken my hand or arm or come back for me. I am lucky. It was frightening,” Daniels told the Australian national broadcaster ABC.
Daniels said he thought the shark was about 2 metres long, and that he may have landed on it after he crested the wave. He was given a few stitches on his hand and was glad to be able to have lunch with his young children.
The shark incident at Shelly Beach, 100 kilometres north of Sydney, was the 13th this year on Australia’s eastern coast, but the closest to Sydney for some time.
Experts are tagging sharks along the coast as they are appearing in record numbers. The government is considering netting beaches along the coast.