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North Avoca Beach Shark Attack: Australian Surfer Escapes Covered In Blood (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 01/04/12 07:57 PM ET Updated: 01/04/12 07:59 PM ET

A 28-year-old Australian surfer managed to paddle back to shore covered in blood after being attacked by a shark off a popular beach north of Sydney, AFP reports.

The attack occurred at dusk on Tuesday (AEST), and witnesses at North Avoca beach told the BBC in the above video that the shark was about six feet long. "The shark came up onto the surfboard (and) bit his arm. He got the other arm (and) hit the shark, then came into shore," the man said.

A spokesman for the nearby Gosford Hospital told AFP that the man was bitten on the right forearm and near his wrist, and said, "He is in a satisfactory condition."

The AFP reports the size of the shark and its brown coloring means it may have been a bronze whaler, "a large, coastal animal prone to over-exploitation by fishing."

In the last 22 years, at least 27 people have been fatally attacked by sharks in Australia.

Bryn Martin is believed to have been killed by a great white shark off a popular beach in Perth, Western Australia while swimming in October. Less than two weeks later, an American diver was fatally attacked off Rottnest Island, which sits 11 miles off the Western Australian coast.

In response, the Western Australian government ordered an unprecedented and controversial shark hunt.

Christopher Neff, a researcher at the University of Sydney carrying out the world's first PhD on the politics of ''shark bite incidents'' told The Sydney Morning Herald this week that had the authorized shark hunt been carried out, it would not have made swimmers safer.

''Swimmers are in the way, not on the menu,'' Neff told the paper. ''There is no evidence any shark species develops a taste for human flesh."

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