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Last Updated: Monday, 26 September 2005, 00:25 GMT 01:25 UK
Man fights off five-metre shark
Great White shark
The surfer managed to push the shark away with his hands
An Australian man has managed to fight off a five-metre-long (16ft) shark, thought to be a great white, with his bare hands.

Josh Berris, 26, was surfing with friends off a beach on Kangaroo Island in South Australia on Saturday when he was attacked by the shark.

Mr Berris pushed the shark away with his hands before friends dragged him into the safety of rocks.

The surfer was taken to hospital where he received treatment for cut legs.

'Hit from underneath'

Emergency services praised the quick thinking of Mr Berris' friends in preventing what they said could have been a fatal attack.

"He was just sitting on the board waiting for the next wave... and it just hit him from underneath and knocked him off, then actually just took his board and was dragging him and he had to pull his leg rope off to actually get away from it," paramedic Dean George told local radio.

"It came back again so he pushed it away with his hand," Mr George said.

The attack was the second in two days in Australia. On Friday a 44-year-old man in Western Australia survived repeated attacks by a small shark off a Perth beach.

Great whites have been blamed for a string of attacks on surfers in Australian waters. Some scientists believe the sharks confuse surfers for their natural prey, seals.

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