A surfer at Pauanui beach has narrowly escaped the jaws of a shark by punching it in the snout after it took a bite of his surfboard.
The surfer was attacked at 11.30am around 500 metres south of the Pauanui surf life-saving club on the east coast of the Coromandel.
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Pauanui surf life-saving club captain Stuart Upjohn told the Herald the surfer was not a local and was understandably rattled following the attack.
"The guy's fine, he was just out surfing this morning. It was a nice swell out this morning off the airfield of the main beach and a shark came at him and bit his board," Upjohn said.
"But he ended up actually punching the shark in the snout to get it off and ended up scaring it off and managed to pull away. There's a good bite mark in his board."
The surfer when back to his car parked at the beach following the attack to get dressed.
"He was a bit shaken and had an adrenaline rush I guess. He wasn't a local surfer he just happened to be surfing at Pauanui this morning and he unluckily enough ended up getting approached by a shark."
Pauanui Surf Life Saving Club closed the beach for two hours following the attack.
"It's actually the first time I've ever heard on the Coromandel someone getting into that situation with a shark and I've been life guarding here for coming up on eight seasons just done now. Haven't had anything like that."
Upjohn said he wasn't sure of the name of the out-of-town surfer or what type of shark it was.
"We were setting up for patrol this morning and around 11.30am we got a phone call from someone down at the airfield saying someone had just come out of the water that had been attacked by a shark."
Upjohn when down to that end of the beach with a team of lifeguards and a first aid kit.
"He was fine, just that he was a little bit shaken up, as you would be in that situation. But just a real unlucky incident to be honest.
"We checked up on him to make sure he was OK, had a quick chat with him."
'It was just a really unlucky situation where the shark ended up having a go at him."
The Pauanui beach reopened around 1pm today.
"You're in their environment out there. It's just a one in a million chance that it's ever going to happen."