Australian woman rescues shark with bare hands

An Australian woman has been acclaimed as a true Aussie legend after rescuing a trapped shark.

Melissa Hatheier was swimming at the Oak Park rock pool at Cronulla in Sydney on Monday when she spotted the shark's fin in the water.

"It was so gorgeous, this little shark was trapped in the rock pool," Ms Hatheier told Australian breakfast radio show Fitzy and Wippa.

"I thought, you know what - if I can just herd him into the shallows I think I can pick him up. He was only about a metre (long) - he was just a little baby."

Bronze whalers are known to be aggressive, and have a dangerous bite. But despite the risk, she chased after the shark- then grasped it and pulled it out of the water upside down.

By holding it the wrong way up, the shark went into 'tonic immobility' - a state of paralysis where it could be safely moved.

She then carried it to the edge of the rock pool, and freed it into the ocean.

"I just picked him up and off he went," she laughed.

After the video was posted to Facebook, it went viral, and Ms Hatheier's actions have seen her hailed as a hero.

"My worst fear has come true! A shark in the Oak Park pool! On another note, this chick is a dead set legend," one person said.

"This is hands down the most Australian thing I have ever seen, holy mackerel," another wrote.