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Surfer punches shark to escape attack at Australian beach

By Ben Hooper

Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A British man attacked by a shark while surfing in Australia said he was able to escape the predator by punching it in the face.

Charlie Fry, 25, a British doctor who has been living and working in Australia for two months, said he was surfing with four friends Monday at Acoca Beach in New South Wales when the shark chomped down on his shoulder and arm.

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"I didn't feel the teeth going in, it felt like I was smacked, it felt like a hand, a hand grabbing me, shaking me," he told 9 News. "It was just pure adrenaline, I genuinely thought I was going to die, like 'you're about to be eaten alive by a shark', so everything slowed down, like 'get on your board and surf.'"

Fry said he recalled a famous incident where surfing champion Mick Fanning escaped from a shark by punching it in the nose.

"I saw a shark's head come out of the water, with its teeth, and I just punched it in the face," Fry said. "[I] then got back on my board, shouted at my friends who were there, and then managed to catch a wave in."

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One of Fry's friends, who is also a doctor, took him to the hospital, where his injuries were confirmed to be minor.

"It was terrifying but it only lasted five seconds. I'll get to tell the story for the rest of my life," he told Australia's The Daily Telegraph.

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters said an approximately 10-foot shark was spotted at Acoca Beach shortly after the incident. The rescue service said the predator appeared to be a great white shark or a bronze whaler shark.

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