Hero teen survived shark attack by hitting beast to pull pals leg from its jaws

A hero teenager fought off a shark who was attacking his friend before being bitten in the back himself.

Jack Shaw, 15, was swimming at a beach in Australia on Monday night with 15-year-old pal Tiarna, whose hand and leg suddenly became pulled under water.

Brave Jack leapt to her defence by beginning to smack the predator they believe was a reef shark or bronze whaler at Ocean Grove beach in Victoria.

But by helping to release Tiarna from the shark's grip in neck-deep water, Jack became its next target before swimming to safety with a bloodied back.

Astonishingly neither the trauma or injury was enough to keep the lad from rocking up to school as normal the next day with a dramatic story to tell.

Jack told 9News.com.au: "I turned around, it got me on the back and then I said: 'Swim!' and tried as fast as we could to get back to shore."

He suffered a centimetre-deep wound and bite marks on his back.

Tiarna got a cut on her hand a wound on her calf.

He said: "She looked at it and it was a shark. So I did my best to get it off there, so I was smacking at it, trying to get it off."

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Jack said all he would think about was getting the shark off and getting out of the water. Off-duty lifeguards ran to help when the pair got to the sure.

However, a family who was at the beach were the first ones to notice what was happening in the water.

Mum Dianne Hobbs, who is a trauma nurse, used towels to stop Tiarna's leg from bleeding.

She had surgery this afternoon (Tuesday) and remains in hospital.

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Jack said his friends did not believe what happened until he showed the bite marks on his back at school.

Pieter Wildekamp from the Victorian Fisheries Authority has said shark attacks in Victoria are not common.

He said: "We haven't had a significant shark attack in over 40 years."

The beach was temporarily closed as authorities looked for the shark in question but it has now reopened.

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Reef sharks are common in parts of Australia and grow to an average of about 6ft.

They typically swim in shallow water and feed on octopus, squid and bony fish, the Mirror reports.

A bronze whaler shark is also common in Australia and they tend to swim in a variety of different depths from the continental shelf to harbours.

They can grow to be about 11ft in length and typically eat octopus, squid and fish.

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