Man At Nudist Beach Escapes Shark Attack By Throwing A Punch

A man has escaped a shark attack with a wound to his arm after fighting off the animal at a nudist beach on the NSW north coast.

The 51-year-old was surfing off Samurai Beach in Port Stephens when he was bitten on his upper right arm about 7.20am on Saturday.

A NSW Ambulance Inspector said four crews and a helicopter were sent to the beach, however most were called off.

Image: Westpac Rescue Helicopter

According to crews who arrived on scene, the man was catching a wave when the shark latched onto his arm.

"He has managed to punch the shark in the head and swim to shore," NSW Ambulance Inspector Brian Knowles told Ten Eyewitness News.

"He still has a significant injury, with about 12 to 15 teeth puncture marks on his right upper arm."

READ MORE: Surfer Left With Injuries After NZ Shark Attack

The wound was treated on the beach before the man was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.

"He is a pretty lucky gentleman. He has managed to get away pretty lightly," Knowles said.

The stretch between Samurai Beach and One Mile Beach has been closed this week after a decomposing whale carcass washed ashore, increasing the risk of shark activity. It was reopened yesterday after the carcass was removed by National Parks and Wildlife.

While Samurai Beach is known to be a nudist beach, whether the man was clothed is not known.

The Inspector said there has been a history of shark attacks in recent years along the Eastern seabord area extending from Stockton Beach, up to Nelson Bay and into Hawksnest.

Broadly, the number of recorded encounters between sharks and humans in Australia has increased modestly between 1997 and 2017, according to the Australian Shark Attack File collated by Sydney's Taronga Zoo. The reason for this is unclear.

Image: Australian Shark Attack File

Featured image: Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Contact the author: ebrancatisano@networkten.com.au