Shark attack surfer determined to head back to the water

Warning: This story contains graphic images.

The surfer who escaped from the jaws of a shark off the Northland coast on Friday is determined to get back into the water.

Andrew 'Nugget' Brough was surfing with friends off the popular Baylys Beach near Dargaville when a shark attacked, biting into his board and his arm.

The recovery may take a few months, with Mr Brough telling Newshub the shark's bite ripped through his muscle.

But despite the near-miss ordeal, he still wants to head back to the same spot and expects to be there by summer.

"Can't let this stop ya," he said. "Yeah I'll get back into the water".

However, he admits the mental barrier of his near-miss may hang around.

"It's always going to be there in the back of your head... but I'm inspired not to let it affect me," he told NZME.

Having lived in Western Australia for five years, Mr Brough said he is used to hearing about shark attacks but he never expected it to happen to him.

"I think it all sort of dawned on me yesterday... and my fiancé was a bit shook up talking about it... it all could have ended. It was a reality check," reports NZME.

When he does go back into the blue, he won't have his favourite surfboard with him. The board, now punctured with a large shark bite, will be hung on his wall, Mr Brough said.

"If JS surfboards want to hook me up with another one that'd be mean," he said.

Shark attack surfer determined to head back to the water
Photo credit: Supplied

Mr Brough compared his experience to that of Australian legendary surfer Mick Fanning, who was confronted by a large shark at a surfing tournament in South Africa three years ago. He said Fanning kept going, and he is inspired to do the same.

"I watched Mick Fanning do it. If Mick wants to help me out, give me a call, have a beer together, that'd be good," Mr Brough joked.

He also wants to thanks the men that helped save him, including his mate Tohi Henry who was in the water at the time, and Garry Yesbsley, who took Mr Brough up the road in his ute to wait until emergency services arrive.

Mr Brough was collected by helicopter from outside a shop on Seaview Rd, which happened to be called Sharkys Takeaways. He was flown to Whangarei Hospital for treatment.

It's not known what type of shark it was.


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