A shark expert says the attack on a Northland surfer on Friday night was likely the work of a juvenile great white.
Whangārei man Andrew Brough has been having a second round of surgery after being bitten by a shark while surfing at Baylys Beach in Northland around 6pm on Friday.
"I felt a bit of pain in my arm and I looked down and then I seen the blood coming out of my wetsuit, " the 25-year-old said.
"I started seeing its tail come out and it was thrashing around under my board. I just started screaming out to the boys to get out of the water, and just started paddling for my life."
He said the surgeons used 12 litres of saline to clean his wounds yesterday, and a second operation was underway today.
"I've got a couple of big puncture wounds on my hand, a few under my forearm. When they did the first surgery they found small shark teeth remaining inside," he said.
Shark scientist Riley Elliot believes a great white was responsible.
"The Kaiparai Harbour is the main element of interest here. It's a well know birthing and breeding ground for the great white shark. It's a nursery area where a lot of juvenile great whites are dropped, left to grow up, and at about 2.5 metres they leave that sanctuary and go look for seals," Mr Elliot said.
"What's fantastic is the maturity most New Zealanders as a collective show when something like this happens. We don't yell for shark culls, we don't want to banish the animal in its own backyard," he said.
And after all that if you're still keen to hit the waves, Mr Elliot has some tips - don't go out at dawn or dusk, avoid murky waters around estuaries and don't swim where there's lots of fish or people are processing fish.
Mr Brough's recovery is likely to take about six weeks, and he can't wait to get back into the water.