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Shark attack near Coral Bay in Perth, WA, as fisherman left with horror injuries

A spear fisherman who was bitten by a shark at a popular tourist spot survived the horror attack after punching the ocean predator in a life-or-death decision, as he posts pictures of his injuries from hospital.

Jackson 'Jacko' Howson was fishing 500m to 1km at Sandy Point near Coral Bay, north of Perth in Western Australia with his girlfriend when he was attacked at 12.15pm on Saturday by what's thought to have been a whaler or bull shark.  

The attack left the fisherman with a 5-8cm bite wound on his calf after the shark lunged for the same fish Mr Howson had speared and latched onto his left leg. 

Jackson 'Jacko' Howson was fishing at Sandy Point near Coral Bay, north of Perth with his girlfriend when he was attacked at about 12.15pm on Saturday by a whaler or bull shark

The attack left the fisherman with a 5-8cm bite wound on his calf after the shark lunged for the same fish Mr Howson had speared and latched onto his left leg

Mr Howson, who is in his 20s, punched the shark then swam 100m to his boat where his girlfriend was forced to get behind the wheel and steer him towards help. 

Posting pictures of his lower leg injuries from hospital, Mr Howson said he was in 'good spirits' and preparing to undergo surgery. 

Witness Nick Hardie was fishing out at Five Fingers Reef south of the bay when he saw the victim and his partner hurling his way, The West Australian reported. 

'We saw this white boat come rushing up to us and we were a bit confused,' Mr Hardie said.

'We saw that a guy was sitting in the floor of the boat and there was blood all over the boat.'  

Mr Hardie said his boat was the first the pair had come across after the attack. 

Mr Howson (pictured, left, fishing with friends), who is in his 20s, is recovering at Royal Perth Hospital following the attack

Mr Howson (pictured) punched the shark then swam 100m to his boat where his girlfriend was forced to get behind the wheel and steer him towards help

The girlfriend explained the spear fisherman had been bitten, adding 'I can't drive this boat'. 

'We followed them into the boat ramp and then parked up next to them and I jumped on their boat,' witness Mr Hardie explained.

'She was a bit nervous and didn't really know how to drive it and he was on the floor, so I parked the boat up against the jetty at the boat ramp.'

He drove the couple's boat to the jetty where paramedics tied a tourniquet around Mr Howson's thigh and wrapped a towel around his calf to cover the bite.

Mr Howon posted photos of the ordeal on social media before his surgery, including one where he made a shark fin gesture on his head as he's wheeled into the ambulance. 

'Had better weekends. Flatter than the earth. Shark bite oo ha ha,' he said.   

Mr Howon posted photos of the ordeal on social media before his surgery, including one where he made a shark fin gesture on his head as he's wheeled into the ambulance

A spear fisherman who was bitten by a shark at a popular tourist spot is recovering in hospital after his brave girlfriend made a life-or-death dash to save his life. Pictured: The man receives medical treatment on Saturday

He also posted another picture of him in hospital with two thumbs up as he waited to for his surgery.

'Thanks for all the support everyone,' he wrote. 

'Bit too drugged up to reply, surgery in a few hours, maybe the plastics can fix this lid too. In good spirits.'   

He is now recovering at Royal Perth Hospital. 

HOW TO SURVIVE A SHARK ATTACK

DEFEND YOURSELF: 

If the attack is close, defend yourself with any weapons you have and avoid using your hands or feet if possible. If not, aim your punches at the shark's gills, eyes or snout.  

ATTACK SENSITIVE AREAS:

 If the shark manages to grab a part of your body, International Shark File Attack File expert George Burgess said to be as aggressive as 'playing dead does not work'. Instead, attempt to claw at eyes and gill openings.   

STOP THE BLEEDING AND SEEK MEDICATION ATTENTION:  

Try to stop the bleeding and get immediate medical attention - no matter how small the injury might seem. Swimmers cannot rule out a second attack but must leave the water as calmy and swiftly as possible.  

AVOID THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS: 

- If you cut or injure yourself in the water, leave immediately 

- Swim clear of fishing boasts as they leave a trail of bait and blood which can attract sharks 

- Avoid large groups of seals, fish or sea lions as they are a part of a shark's diet 

- Refrain from excessive splashing or erratic behaviour in the water 

- Do not wear high-contrast clothing like orange and yellow or shiny jewelry which resemble fish scales

Source: National Geographic  

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