Shark Bites Surfer 'to the Bone' Before He Makes Lucky Escape: 'You Can See the Chunk in His Foot'

A shark bit a man's foot through to the bone as he sat on a surfboard and dangled his legs in the sea at Windang Beach, New South Wales, on Friday morning.

The victim, identified as Wil Schroeter, 59, was transported to Wollongong Hospital following the incident, which took place at approximately 8 a.m.

Authorities said he was lucky as the shark was small. But Schroeter still suffered deep lacerations to his left foot, 7News reported.

The injuries are not considered to be life-threatening, police said. The New South Wales Ambulance Service said the bite had "gone through to the bone."

Peter Coombs, a friend of the bite victim who was at the scene this morning, said he realized something was wrong after hearing Schroeter yelling out while paddling back to the shore.

Coombs said he ran up the beach and then saw the bloody bite mark, the Illawarra Mercury reported.

"I think his whole foot was in the shark's mouth and you could see the bite mark on the top and bottom of his foot. Must have been maybe a five or six-foot shark by the size of the bite. Probably a bull shark or a small white shark," he said.

"When I heard him first start yelling out and waving, I thought something was wrong, but I didn't know what. You can see the chunk in his foot, you can tell it's a shark bite," Coombs added.

Terry Morrow, chief inspector of NSW Ambulance, told reporters during a Q&A this morning that a team of paramedics had responded to the area at approximately 8:45 a.m.

"Apparently he was sitting on the board with both legs dangled over the surfboard and all of a sudden he felt a tug on his leg," Morrow said.

"He looked down and there was some blood oozing from a wound. He made his way into the shore and life-saving people here [helped him].

"It appears that it's a small shark due to the size of the injury... the teeth had gone into the bone joint in the ankle. He had some bleeding there for a while.

"We put an arterial tourniquet on the leg to stop the flow. It's now controlled. We have given him some antibiotics and cleaned up the wound as best we can." The victim will undergo "exploratory surgery."

Morrow said the "very lucky" surfer was in "good spirits" after taking pain relief medication and recovering from the initial shock of seeing the wound.

"I think if it had been a larger shark it may have taken his whole foot off," Morrow said.

In a statement, NSW police said no shark was sighted in the area. However, officials reportedly sent out a surveillance helicopter and jet skis to hunt for the ocean predator.

"We'll keep the beach closed until further notice, until we're sure there are no more issues with sharks around here," council operations manager Paul Dreghorn told the Illawarra Mercury.

The species of shark involved in the bite attack has not been officially named, but 7News reported it is thought to be a bull shark. The investigation continues.

Newsweek asked NSW Ambulance for comment by email and will update this article if one is provided.

SharkSmart, a government project, says online that "nearly all" shark bites along the coast can be attributed to three species: White, bull, and tiger.

The bull shark is described as "a dangerous shark due to its aggressive nature, powerful jaws, broad diet, abundance and its habitat preference of shallow, murky inshore waters."

Bull shark
A bull shark swims at the Ocearium in Le Croisic, western France, on December 6, 2016. LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty