It was a real-life Jaws nightmare.
An Australian man who survived a harrowing shark attack that left him with a gaping leg wound recounted how he fought off the great white by shoving his surfboard into the predator’s mouth and punching it in the face.
Phil Mummert, 28, was surfing at Bunker Bay on July 31 when he was attacked by the 16-foot-long shark, which bit through his board and knocked him off, the Magic Seaweed reported.
“I didn’t see it coming at all, he must’ve come from behind, underneath me,” he told the surfing website.
“I was sitting on my board and I remember feeling the force that the shark hit me with and then the next thing I remember is being in the water and my board was bitten in half,” Mummert said.
“I could see the nose of the board and lots of foam scattered around. The tail half was still attached to me with my leggy and it was in its mouth,” he continued. “It ended up being in between me and the shark, so I grabbed it with both hands and tried to push it in to his mouth.”
Mummert said that people around him later told him he also punched the beast on its head and nose.
“I remember seeing the size of his dorsal fin as he was swimming around, it was massive like at least a meter high. He was still there right next to me when the other guys got to me,” he said.
During the horrific attack, “three absolute legends — Alex Oliver, Liam Ryan and Jess Woolhouse — paddled straight towards me while the shark was still there having a go at me,” Mummert recounted.
“Alex was on a longboard and they got me up onto his board and started paddling me in to shore,” which was hundreds of feet away, he added.
“Of course, the ocean went flat but we were eventually able to get on a small wave that took us in. Those blokes are absolute heroes and without a doubt saved my life,” he said.
Mummert said doctors told him that despite the gruesome injury, he didn’t suffer significant damage to his muscles, tendons or arteries.
“They said if one of the bites was three centimeters more towards the inside of my leg that it would’ve cut the femoral artery and I would have bled out,” he said.
“They ended up stitching it together internally and then stapling it together. Ended up with 63 staples. I really don’t know how that happened, really I shouldn’t be alive. Or at the very least lost a leg.”