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Last Updated: Sunday, 16 December 2007, 05:02 GMT
Shark attacks man at Bondi Beach
Sunbathers on Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach is Australia's most famous stretch of sand

A swimmer has been attacked by a shark at Australia's Bondi Beach, a favourite with tourists from around the world.

The shark reportedly grabbed the man by the arm but he escaped after punching it on the nose.

The man reached the Sydney shore before collapsing in a cave in which he was said to be living temporarily. He was later found by his girlfriend.

A lifeguard spokesman said the man had gone swimming in the dark on Friday, which was strongly discouraged.

I thought I was a goner, I thought I was going to die
Scott Wright

Sharks were often seen in the area but rarely made it through protective net barriers to come close to swimmers, he added.

According to news agency reports, the victim named Scott Wright told Channel Ten News: "The shark attacked me, grabbed hold of my arm and wouldn't let go.

"So I ended up punching him in the nose and trying to fight him off," he said.

"I thought I was a goner, I thought I was going to die."

Mr Wright, a tourist from the southern island state of Tasmania, is understood to have been left with a deep gouge in his arm which will need surgery.

Channel Ten reported it was believed to be the first shark attack at Bondi Beach for 70 years.

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