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David Pickering, Shark Attack Victim, Describes His Close Encounter In Western Australia (VIDEO)

First Posted: 01/20/12 11:27 AM ET Updated: 01/20/12 11:27 AM ET

An Australian man is recovering after becoming the country's third shark attack victim this month.

David Pickering, 26, was leading a group of snorkelers at Coral Bay in Western Australia this week when he was attacked by a 10-foot tiger shark, reported the Associated Press.

Pickering explained that as the shark bit his arm, he punched it with his free arm to escape. The man was able to warn his fellow snorkelers and swim 300 feet to shore before he was flown to Perth for treatment, according to AP.

He joked in the video about his harrowing escape, "The worst thing was that I couldn't see if he was coming back for seconds."

A worker in Coral Bay told Perth Now that shark attacks in the area are uncommon. "We haven't had an attack here in 10 or 15 years and it just happened out of the blue. Everyone is very shocked," said Sunny Rayudu.

According to BBC News, Australia usually averages about three shark attacks per year, making 2012 an unusual year so far. The two other attacks this month both took place along Australia's east coast.

The first attack of the year, at North Avoca beach near Sydney, left a man escaping to shore covered in blood. But after reaching a local hospital, he was found to be in "satisfactory condition."

Despite the apparent frequency of shark attacks, human attacks on sharks are far more common. A study by the University of Florida found that up to 70 million sharks are killed annually by fishing fleets.

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Filed by James Gerken  |