"The shark just turned on me and charged at me. It latched on to my leg and it bit twice."
Nine years ago, Greg Pickering was lying in a hospital bed, describing how he was attacked by a bronze whaler while spearfishing off the coast of Cervantes.
Despite numerous close calls with sharks over the years, the abalone diver had never been attacked before.
"If sharks are hungry, they can snap. All can be calm and then they just explode into action," he said.
Astonishingly, the 55-year-old was attacked by a shark for the second time yesterday, and survived.
This time, Mr Pickering was bitten on his chest, arms and face as he was diving for abalone in the Southern Ocean, 160km east of Esperance.
In 2004, Mr Pickering dived into the water to save his mate Barry Paxman, who was being harassed by a 1.5m shark, only for it to turn on him.
Yesterday, colleagues came to his aid when he was attacked by what is believed to be a great white, at the remote Poison Creek, a popular area for abalone diving.
Dave Schoefield, a spearfisherman in Mr Pickering's native South Australia, said he was "an icon" among abalone divers, free divers and spearfishermen in WA and SA.
He said his survival in a second shark attack was "amazing".
"He's one of the most courageous divers I've met. He's very courageous in the work that he does and he pushes the limits in the sport for sure," he said. "If you survive an attack from a white, you're very lucky."
Mr Pickering has spent much of his life in the ocean. At just 12, he took up spearfishing and free diving. He won the Australian Open Spearfishing Championship in Kangaroo Island, South Australia, in 1990.
He has represented Australia in spearfishing and free diving competitions around the world.
In 1998, he broke the world record for a yellowfin tuna catch, at 140kg, off Mexico.
Mr Pickering has been working as an abalone diver in WA and SA since 1980.
Even after the 2004 attack that left him with pieces of shark tooth lodged in his shinbone, Mr Pickering still loved his life and work in the ocean.
Mr Schoefield said the only time his mate seemed worried about the threat of sharks was when fellow abalone diver Peter Clarkson was killed in 2011.
Esperance-based Mr Clarkson, also an experienced diver, was taken by two sharks in Coffin Bay, South Australia, as he made his way to the surface from a dive.
"He said, 'You know, I've never used a cage but I think it's probably time I start looking into it.' That's the first time that he voiced any concern of it to me," Mr Schoefield said.
Despite that, Mr Pickering was not using a cage when he was attacked yesterday.
Other spearfishermen and abalone divers told _The West Australian _they were now seeing more great white sharks off WA.
As Mr Pickering recovers from his injuries, his friends and colleagues said they were not sure how surviving a second shark attack would affect him.
Graham Carlisle, who works with Mr Pickering at the Australian Underwater Federation, said he had no doubt Mr Pickering would take a while to get over the experience."I think the fact that he's done it once before may attest to his strength of character and will to get back in the ocean," he said.