A 62-year-old Australian man attacked by a shark on the New South Wales mid-north coast yesterday has quipped that he survived because the great white didn't like the taste of a vegan.
Colin Rowland was bitten on the foot, leg and arm by the shark off Booti Booti, south of Forster after 9am yesterday.
Mr Rowland, a local who has been surfing his whole life was aided by a fellow surfer, who pulled him onto his own board and swam him ashore after the attack.
He arrived at Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital giving a thumbs-up to cameras while strapped to a stretcher, telling awaiting media: "I'm a bit out of it but I am alive, that is the main thing''.
He's since undergone surgery and has told Nine News about six dolphins that were under his surf board.
"And then it happened. I was catapulted into the air. I looked around and saw the great white fin - it was definitely over two foot - and it was monstrous," he said.
Asked how he's feeling, he said: "Joyous that I'm alive."
He also expressed gratitude for the surfer who took him into shore.
Drum lines have been dropped along the beach where Mr Rowland was mauled by the shark.
In his 54 years of surfing almost every day, Mr Rowland said he had never seen a shark, according to The Newcastle Herald.
The attack is the sixth in NSW for 2016.
The NSW Government has recently come under fire for overseeing the controversial installation of shark nets in Ballina in an attempt to address the spate of attacks in that area.