A 20-year-old Victorian man has received 10 stitches after being bitten on the foot by a shark while standing in waist deep water at Merimbula Main Beach.
Mitchell Collins from the seaside town of Mornington was swimming just 10 to 15 metres from shore during low tide around 6pm on Tuesday when he felt a bite to his foot.
“I had my feet on the ground, I went to step and as I did it bit my foot,” he said.
“I knew it was a bite straight away and it knocked me down.
“It felt really sharp but it wasn’t that painful and I was in shock I think.
“I didn’t see it but I got a good feel of it.”
Mr Collins’ cousin Jayden was next to him at the time and said he felt what he thought was a one-and-a-half to two metre bronze whaler brush his leg shortly after the attack.
“He [Mitchell] jumped, lifted his foot up and said ‘shark’ then it brushed my leg,” the 19-year-old said.
“When he said it I didn’t think about it because I didn’t know if he was serious or not.
“It felt really weird, pretty slimy and pretty big.
The Collins family have been regular summer visitors to the region over the last 10 years, and this year was the first time Jayden had visited the Far South Coast.
The water was quickly evacuated and Mr Collins’ parents were contacted. They took their son to the South East Regional Hospital, where he received 10 stitches to his toes and the top of his foot.
Mr Collins’ brother Harry was surfing further out in the water at the time of the attack.
“I saw them running from the water and there was blood everywhere,” the 18-year-old said.
“I heard there were shark sightings over the last few days here.”
Seemingly unfazed by what he had seen, Harry was back out in the surf on Wednesday morning.
“It’s just a one in a million thing,” he said.
Mr Collins also said he would be back in the water as soon as possible.
“We were talking about how rare it is to be bitten, it’s very surreal,” he said.