A SURFER has told how he fought off a 16ft great white shark by shoving his surfboard into its mouth and punching it in the face.
Phil Mummert, 28, was surfing at Bunker Bay, Western Australia when he was savaged by the beast.
He said there was less than a foot between his face and the shark that knocked him off his board as he surfed.
“I was sitting on my board and I remember feeling the force that the shark hit me with and then the next thing I remember is being in the water and my board was bitten in half,” he told surfing website Magic Seaweed.
Phil said he saw the nose of the board and lots of foam scattered around during the attack at 2.15pm on July 31.
The tail half was still attached to his leg with a rope and it was in in the shark’s mouth.
He said: “It ended up being in between me and the shark, so I grabbed it with both hands and tried to push it in to his mouth.
“I think it took what felt like a few seconds for me to realise what was going on, but really I have no sense of the time, my mind was just going so fast everything seemed like it was in slow motion.
“Then, once I realised what was happening, my first instinct was to just keep that piece of board in its mouth because I figured if he was biting that then he wasn’t biting me.
“The other guys in the water said I was punching him in the head and on the nose as well.”
Phil said he remembers the shark swimming around him and was just trying to keep his eyes on the deadly predator while trying to push it away.
“I remember seeing the size of his dorsal fin as he was swimming around, it was massive like at least a metre high. He was still there right next to me when the other guys got to me.”
Three fellow surfers saw the attack and paddled their boards toward him.
The rescuers hoisted the badly injured victim onto a surfboard and get him the 100 yards to shore.
“We were eventually able to get on a small wave that took us in,” said Phil.
“Those blokes are absolute heroes and without a doubt saved my life."
He was rushed to hospital where doctors used 63 staples to seal a gaping wound on his leg.
“Really, I shouldn’t be alive. Or at the very least lost a leg,” he said.
So far this year, there have been five fatal shark attacks in Australia.
Earlier this month, Matthew Tratt, 36, a father-of-two, was mauled to death by a shark in Queensland.
In September 2011, 21-year-old Kyle Burden was killed by a great white shark while bodyboarding at the same area in Bunker Bay
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