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National News supplied bySky News

Surfer Injured After Fighting Off Shark

Former boxer Craig Ison, 52, repeatedly hit the shark after it bit him in a dawn attack at Evans Head, around 340 miles north of Sydney.

Mr Ison was bitten on his left leg and hand and is in a serious but stable condition in Lismore Base Hospital, police say.

The attack comes less than a week after Damian Johnson, 46, became the country's second person killed by a shark this year when he was mauled by a suspected great white off the coast of Tasmania.

Detective Inspector Cameron Lindsay said Mr Ison had been surfing with his friend Geoff Hill when the shark approached and attacked him by biting his left-hand side.

Speaking from the tourist town of Ballina, 25 miles north of Evans Head, Mr Lindsay said: "(Mr Ison) actually fought off the shark, we're told, and has made it to shore with the help of that other surfer and passers-by."

Quick-thinking beach walkers used the leg ropes from surfboards as tourniquets to slow the bleeding and keep Mr Ison alive while ambulance crews were on their way.

Witness Ricky Forsyth said: "We wrapped a towel around his leg as well and then put a jumper in the wound and just kept him talking until the ambulance arrived."

Mr Ison was due to have surgery on Friday.

His friend Mr Hill said watching the attack had been "like watching the Mick Fanning episode in replay".

Mr Fanning punched a shark when he was attacked during a surfing competition in South Africa earlier this month.

He survived without any injuries and the incident was caught on video and broadcast worldwide.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr Hill said: "The white board went up in the air; the tail was thrashing around.

"He got in a couple of punches. He told us that when we were trying to give him first aid."

Mr Ison's partner Jennifer Brown said she doesn't expect the attack to keep him from the water, adding: "He lives for it so I think he'll go back out once he's alright."

Ballina has seen two shark attacks this year, one of which was fatal, and the region's mayors are to meet and discuss how to deal with the situation.

While sharks are common in Australia, there has only been an average of fewer than two fatal attacks per year.

© Sky News, 2015