Frankston surfer Jimmy McDonald-Jones' lucky escape from shark attack off Flinders
A SURFER has survived a hair-raising brush with a 2m shark off Flinders after the creature apparently mistook him for a seal.
Frankston man Jimmy McDonald-Jones, 29, was body surfing with three mates on the Mornington Peninsula yesterday when a shark latched on to him in the waves like "a suction cup" and bit a basketball-sized hole in his wetsuit.
The quick-thinking builder managed to wrench the shark off his back and swim to safety, but not before the animal took a few more bites at his hands.
"I saw something in the water about 2m long, and thought: 'Nah, you are seeing things'," he said.
"Then it bumped across my legs and I said to my mate: 'Swim! It's a shark',"
"It took a bite across my back about the size of a basketball. I pushed it off and it was thrashing against me, it was really strong - I thought I was dead.
"It was attached to my back like a suction cup."
Mr McDonald-Jones said he believed the shark was a small white pointer or a bronze whaler.
"I might have poked it in the eye or the nostril; I thought: 'That's not a seal - they don't have such rough skin or pointy noses'."
The surfer says the shark attacked him in less than 2m of water.
"I think he was just curious; if he'd wanted me, he would have had me. He had a taste and thought, 'that's not a seal'."
In January, two Melbourne fishermen filmed a 5m great white shark attacking their tiny fishing boat off Victoria's south-west coast.