Surfer Attacked by Huge Shark Felt Like He Was 'Hit by a Bus': 'You Couldn't Wrap Your Arms Around It—It Was That Big'

An Australian man was lucky to escape without serious injury after a close encounter with a shark over the weekend while surfing in waters off New South Wales.

Mike Bruton, 29, was bumped from underneath by the ocean predator while he was surfing with his brother at Seal Rocks in the Mid North Coast region. "The sheer power of the thing, it felt like I was getting hit by a bus," Bruton told The Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The surfer, from Sydney, was thrown from his board during the incident before getting back on and eventually paddling towards the beach.

Bruton said the shark appeared to be large and, for a time, he was anticipating its return.

"You couldn't wrap your arms around it—it was that big. It was huge," he told 9News. "I just jumped on my board, pretty freaked out by it all. Yeah, sitting there for a little while trying to get a wave in and thinking that next bite was about to come and luckily it didn't."

Bruton said he only realized the damage that had been done to his surfboard after getting back to the shoreline. It was missing a large portion of the back right side, images showed. Luckily, he only suffered minor injuries in the encounter, including sore ribs and stomach.

"I didn't realise there was a big chunk missing [from the board] until I got onto the sand," he told 9News. "It's just very lucky it got my board and not me."The surfer noted he would get back into the water, just not straight away. "You just never think it will be you," he said.

The type of shark involved in the incident was not immediately clear. Local media reported it was potentially a white shark—one of three species most associated with bites in the area.

The New South Wales government says online the other two are bull sharks and tiger sharks. It says there is no 100 percent safeguard against attacks "as the ocean is a wild space." While not every skirmish ends up fatal, there are plenty of close calls with the feared fish.

In February this year, a 41-year-old man called Sam Edwardes was rushed to hospital after being confronted by a shark while surfing off a beach in Byron Bay. He suffered lacerations to his leg. Like Bruton, he was attacked from underneath and knocked from his board.

"When I heard the screams he was making in the water and then I saw a chunk of his board floating off, that's when I realised it was pretty bad," an eyewitness said at the time.

In April last year, a 36-year-old man called Adam Murray told 9News he was bumped while surfing off Gearys Beach in Mandurah. "I don't feel like I had a near-death experience or anything, but it was a solid thud," he said. Luckily, Murray escaped without injury.

And of course, bites and attacks are not confined to one part of the world. Last month, in Hawaii, a woman who was surfing in Kīhei, Maui, was left "shaken but unharmed" after a shark bit down on the back of her board. A witness said the woman had been left "stricken with fear."

White Shark
White Sharks gather off the coast of Guadalupe Island; divers dive inside cages off the boat Nautilus Explorer in order to safely swim with the sharks on September 15, 2016, 150 miles off the coast of Mexico. Dave J Hogan/Getty
Surfer Attacked by Huge Shark Felt Like He Was 'Hit by a Bus': 'You Couldn't Wrap Your Arms Around It—It Was That Big' | News
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