'I was scared he was going to get me': Shark victim tells of moment maneater took chunk out of his surfboard

A surfer who survived a Great White attack has told of how he rushed to escape the sea and save his life.

Recovering on his couch, Jade Fitzpatrick told 7 News he was still high on adrenaline after surviving this morning’s shark attack just south of Byron Bay.

"I just felt something whack me at the back of my board and … I saw the tail come out and it went straight down,” he said.

Mr Fitzpatrick described getting back on his board and screaming to his mate to flee, while trying to escape.

Jade Fitzpatrick said he was lucky to be alive after the attack. Photo: 7 News.
Jade Fitzpatrick said he was lucky to be alive after the attack. Photo: 7 News.

"I looked over my shoulder and I saw the water swirl and it was only five metres away and I thought he was turning to come back so I started paddling and I was so scared he was going to get me.”

His mate Joel stayed by his side.

The surfer said he is lucky to be alive. Image: Supplied
The surfer said he is lucky to be alive. Image: Supplied

A shark biologist said they believed the pair had been stalked by a Great White.

"Halfway in I started to panic and I touched my leg and I felt it was slick from all the blood so I knew that I'd been bitten so I said dude I just got bitten by a shark."

Mr Fitzpatrick was driven to Byron Bay Hospital, where he was stitched up and released.

It was the third shark attack in the area within a month.

The New South Wales Government has committed to installing shark nets.


'I'm lucky to be alive'

The 36-year-old surfer who was attacked by a shark near Byron Bay on Monday morning said he is lucky to be alive.

Jade Fitzpatrick suffered a bite wound to his leg in an attack on a beach between Suffolk Park and Broken Head.

Mr Fitzpatrick told News Corp he was lucky the shark was "small".

He said, "I just want to enjoy being alive today. I'm all good mate."

The shark swam under the surfer while he was waiting for a wave and the surfboard took the brunt of the attack, Surf Life Saving said.

The 36-year-old said he wants to enjoy being alive today. Image: Facebook
The 36-year-old said he wants to enjoy being alive today. Image: Facebook

The surfer was taken to hospital at 7.30am, and was discharged around three hours later.

A three metre white shark was sighted at Wategos Beach a short time after the attack.

A 3 metre great white shark at Kings Beach, south of Broken Head on Sunday.
A 3 metre great white shark at Kings Beach, south of Broken Head on Sunday.
Mr Fitzpatrick's surfboard. Image: Facebook
Mr Fitzpatrick's surfboard. Image: Facebook

Witness Geoffrey Knapp told the Gold Coast Bulletin that he and a friend were surfing near a group of dolphins when he saw the man leave the water quickly.

He said, "He got the impression the shark was trying to knock him off his surfboard and try and roll him over".

Another surfer said the victim was "surprisingly calm". Aaron Hoffman told the Gold Coast Bulletin "He wasn’t showing any real signs of pain, I think he might have been in shock."

Mr Fitzpatrick spent the morning in hospital. Image: Facebook
Mr Fitzpatrick spent the morning in hospital. Image: Facebook

Belinda Holland, told reporters she was nearby when the attack happened.

"We were surfing and our dad called us in and we saw this big group of people," she said.

"We went in and heard it was a shark attack ... we were pretty freaked out."

Top news stories - October 24

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