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French surfer punches shark, survives attack in Australia

A French surfer has survived a shark attack in Australia with only minor leg injuries by punching it twice, local media reported.

Dylan Nacass, 23, was surfing at Bells Beach, about 1.5 hours from Melbourne, when the shark attacked on Friday, Nine News said. 

Video footage shows a shark swimming up behind two men as they paddle desperately to get away.

Nacass told Nine the shark latched onto his leg until he punched it twice and he was released from its jaws.

"I punched him one time, he stays in my legs. Two times, after, he go," he said.

Local man Matt Sedunary rushed to the Frenchman's aid after realising he was in distress.

"He started screaming -- I honestly thought he was joking around with his friends," he told Nine, adding he "wasn't going to ditch him".

"Most people would do the same thing."

The incident was captured by Australian man Graham Blade, who was filming from a nearby lookout at the world-famous surf break.

"I actually saw it pop up behind him and knew it was real," Blade told Nine.

Nacass walked away with only puncture wounds to his right leg that required stitches.

Australia has one of the world's highest incidences of shark attacks, but fatalities are rare.

There were 27 maulings but no fatalities off Australia last year, according to data from Sydney's Taronga Zoo.

Despite his ordeal, Nacass said he was eager to return to the water once his injuries have healed.

"I really want to go back soon," he said. "Just when my leg, it's OK. I'm going to go back to surf soon."

Topics: Australia , Dylan Nacass , Melbourne , Matt Sedunary
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