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© Shaun Hilton
Justin Daniels, 42, was bitten on the hand and shaken from his board during the shark attack.
A surfer who was bitten by a shark on the New South Wales Central Coast says it was like re-watching the Mick Fanning attack and he is lucky to have escaped with only minor injuries.

Justin Daniels, 42, from Berkeley Vale suffered minor puncture wounds to his left hand after being bitten close to shore about 6:15am at North Shelly Beach, north of Gosford.

"It easily could have taken my hand or arm or come back for me. I am lucky. It was frightening," Mr Daniels said.

"You are being attacked by a live animal ... It is survival, I was in a zone and I just wanted to get out of there."


The father of two said it was like re-living the July shark attack on champion surfer Mick Fanning, which he watched on live television.

"I had to swim to my board, exactly [like that] situation. I didn't face it like Mick did. I turned away and ran, swam," Mr Daniels said.

He said the attack happened so close to shore if could have been any beachgoer attacked.

"Any child could be swimming in the gutter, anyone could have been going out for a swim," Mr Daniels said.

"I wasn't out on a bank or on a reef or deep water area. It was straight off the shore.

"One of the first thoughts [I had was] my little daughter is five and she is already scared of sharks."

Mr Daniels said he believed the shark was about six foot in length and came from underneath his board.

"All I remember is the loud thud of hitting my board and me going up so it must have come from underneath," he said.

"I think what has happened is my hand was on the side of the board here when it hit me and that is where I got a tooth mark.

"I saw it was submerged, it was under me thrashing and I was just shaking and [trying] to break free. That is when I saw my board on the right side and swam towards my board."

Surfers didn't realise there was an attack until getting back to beach

Mr Daniels was treated at the scene by fellow surfer and off-duty Westpac rescue helicopter pilot Graeme Anderson.

Mr Anderson said a group of eight were surfing at the time and Mr Daniels was just paddling out when the shark came at him.

"The shark ... nicked his hand as it came through and latched onto the nose of this board, shook him around for a little bit, pulled him off his board, or pulled the board away from him, then Justin was able to swim back to the beach," he said.

"We all paddled into shore and examined Justin's board. Once we got him up to the car park we assisted with first aid."

He said when they were alerted to the attack in the water, most of the group did not believe it.

"Once we saw how frantic Sam [another surfer] was, we thought there's something else going on here," Mr Anderson said.

"It wasn't until we actually got to the beach we realised there'd been an actual attack.

"Justin was pretty well shaken about but he handled it really well."