Forty-six-year-old Paul Welsh is recovering in hospital after being attacked by what police have described as a four-foot-long shark at the Mona Vale Basin about 8:00am (AEDT).---
I fought off a shark: Sydney surfer
Audio: Witness Michael Brown recounts the attack (ABC Sydney) Map: Mona Vale 2103
A surfer says he clutched onto a rock as a shark tried to drag him back into the water after biting his leg on Sydney's Northern Beaches this morning.
Forty-six-year-old Paul Welsh is recovering in hospital after being attacked by what police have described as a four-foot-long shark at the Mona Vale Basin about 8:00am (AEDT).
Mr Welsh has told the Manly Daily he was surfing with his 10-year-old son close to the shore when he was bitten.
"I was pushing my son onto waves and it just belted me from behind," the newspaper quotes him as saying shortly after the attack.
"I grabbed on to the pinnacle of a rock and held on as it tried to drag me out... and I won.''
It is understood Mr Welsh had already sold the rest of his story to a commercial TV station by the time he reached Mona Vale Hospital.
A spokesman for Northern Sydney and Central Coast Health says the victim will be released from hospital with minor injuries by 1:00pm (AEDT).
The director of a company that patrols for sharks and sells joyflights says he was in the water with his 13-year-old son when they saw the attack.
"It was absolutely unbelievable, absolutely surreal..." SurfWatch Australia director Michael Brown told ABC 702 Sydney Local Radio.
"About 30 odd metres behind us, we turned around and saw a whole lot of thrashing in the water, and it looks like - I'm not sure exactly if it was a great white - but this shark has come in from underneath the guy.
"It's launched straight up into him, knocked him out of the water and then latched onto his leg, and luckily, he had a chance to grab onto a rock and the shark's actually thrashing, trying to drag him back into the water.
"He's managed to release himself from the shark and crawl up onto the rocks and just had a big bite mark in his leg and blood just streaming out of it.
"We got him up onto the beach and straight into the car and his wife has run him straight up to the hospital.
"An absolutely unbelievable scene this morning. Quite frankly, I'm feeling a bit shook up. It could have been myself or my 13-year-old son."
Several sharks spotted
Lifesavers closed the beach after the attack.
Mr Brown says bait fish have attracted many sharks to the area over the past month.
"There's been a big three-metre great white off Avalon the other day and we've had big great whites off Palm Beach..." he said.
"When you have huge schools of target species like tunas and king fish and that sort of thing, it's the big factor that draws the sharks in."
He says the attack has transformed his perspective on his work.
"It's not as if I'm naive to the fact that they're there. I think that with most of us, we live under the premise that it's never going to happen to us, it's always somebody else.
"So I think to be so close to the attack and to be so exposed to the fact that it could've been us, I think it's definitely had a fairly major impact on my life.
"I'm quite shaken and I spend my life researching, following and working with sharks, but to be that close to an actual attack and to be faced with the fact that it could've been my child, it's definitely had a life-changing impact. There's no two ways about that."
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010 ... =australia