A MAN has been taken to hospital after being attacked by a shark at a beach north of Newcastle.
The 51-year-old was surfing at Samurai Beach near Anna Bay at Port Stephens when he was bitten just before 8am.
Paramedics said they believed the man was in the process of catching a wave when he collided with the shark.
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NSW Ambulance Inspector Brian Knowles said the shark “spun around and latched onto [the man’s] arm”.
The man told paramedics he punched the shark in the head to escape the predator’s jaws and made his way to shore.
Incredibly, the man is believed to have suffered only minor injuries.
Inspector Knowles said the surfer was bitten on the upper right arm and suffered up to 15 puncture wounds.
He was treated by paramedics before being transported by ambulance to John Hunter Hospital in a stable condition.
A rescue helicopter had been dispatched to the scene but was not needed.
According to the NSW Department of Primary Industries, the shark is believed to have been a Wobbegong.
Parts of Samurai Beach and One Mile Beach had been closed earlier in the week after a dead whale washed ashore.
The decomposing carcass was removed from the beach on Thursday and the beaches were reopened yesterday.
Both beaches have again been closed following this morning’s incident and will remain off limits until further notice.