"It easily could have taken my hand or my arm or come back for me"
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 7 September, 2015 - 42-year-old Justin Daniels was surfing off Shelly Beach north of Sydney when a shark of unidentified species bit down on his board. Daniels was uninjured beyond a tooth mark on his hand, but said he could have easily lost an arm.
"I'm just lucky I've still got my left arm," Daniels told reporters. "It easily could have taken my hand or my arm or come back for me."
Daniels had just caught a wave and was paddling back out when he felt a thud and saw the six-foot animal thrashing under his board.
"I saw it was submerged, it was under me just thrashing," Daniels told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, adding that he tried to shake the animal off. "'Bang,' it felt like a battleship hitting my board. Threw me straight off up into the air," Daniels said. "My board got separated from me, then I saw the shark underneath me."
Daniels then swam back to his board and 'paddled like hell' to shore.
The attack was the 13th off the New South Wales state coast this year, according to records compiled by Sydney's Taronga Zoo. There were only three attacks off New South Wales last year, including two fatalities.
Weeks earlier, a surfer suffered serious arm and leg injuries after being bitten at Evans Head in the state's far north, the same area in which a Japanese surfer died in February after his legs were torn off in a shark attack.
The New South Wales government has ruled out culling sharks, but state Premier Mike Baird last week said the attacks were "unprecedented, they're extraordinary and they are going to require action".