A surfer has told how he fought off a great white shark by punching it in the eye after it attacked him.
Nick Minogue, from the New Zealand city of Auckland, was bitten by the shark on Saturday at Pauanui Beach in the country’s Coromandel region.
He told the NZ Herald: “I was just paddling along and got hit on the side of my elbow and forearm.
“By the time I realised what was going on, its teeth were definitely latched on to the front section of the board.”
Mr Minogue, 60, said he had heard sharks don’t like being punched in the nose or eye.
“So I actually shouted at it ‘f***off!’ and went to punch it in the eye and missed,” he said.
“Then I pulled my fist back and shouted ‘f*** off!’ again and got it right smack bang in the eye. It’s quite a big eye, about three knuckles across, and its eye kind of looked up and rolled up.
“In between the two punches it crunched down a bit more on the board and then disengaged its teeth, got its jaws off and then I got brushed by the dorsal fin and the tail fin and swam off.”
Mr Minogue said he had been alone in the water apart from a German surfer closer to shore, who heard him screaming before the two paddled as fast as they could to get out of the water.
Mr Minogue said: “It was a grey shark with a white bottom, probably a great white. It was a big head and jaw. I kind of sat up in shock and decided to hit it. That was the only thing to do.”
Experts told the newspaper that the bite marks on Mr Minogue’s surf board and his description led them to conclude the shark had been a great white.
Pauanui surf life-saving club captain Stuart Upjohn had also been on the beach and told Radio NZ: “It turned out he was actually fine but just a bit shaken. [We] had a good look at his surfboard and it had a good bite mark in it.”
Mr Minogue was left with a cut on his arm but said his full-length wetsuit saved him from further injury.
“There was blood dripping out the sleeve of my wetsuit. Thankfully it wasn’t too deep. Two teeth put holes in my wetsuit but only one punctured the skin,” Mr Minogue said.
“I’ve still got an arm and fingers, it could have been a lot worse.”