A British doctor has said he punched a shark on the nose that was "about to eat me" while surfing in Australia.

Charlie Fry, 25, had been in the water off Avoca Beach, 60 miles north of Sydney, when he was attacked on Monday.

The novice surfer said he had learnt the tactic after watching interviews with Australian world champion surfer Mick Fanning, who punched a shark during a competition in South Africa in July 2015.

So when it happened, I was, like: Just do what Mick did. Just punch it in the nose, Mr Fry told Australia’s Nine Network TV.

So, Mick, if you’re watching or listening, I owe you a beer. Thank you very much.

Dr Fry, who has been working at nearby Gosford Hospital for two months, said he was with three colleagues when he was attacked.

I got this massive thud on my right-hand side – it completely blindsided me. I thought it was a friend goofing around.

He told Australian TV: I saw a shark’s head come out of the water, with its teeth, and I just punched it in the face.

Dr Fry said he managed to scramble back on my board, shout at my friends and luckily a wave came, so I just sort of surfed the wave in.

He said he did not realise his arm was bleeding until was back on the shore.

I didn’t really notice it at the time… all I’m thinking was: ‘I’m about to die. I’m literally about to die,’ Dr Fry said.

The A&E doctor said he was not sure of the size of the shark, but added: I got the impression it was big, it felt big to me, the head was really big… it was about to eat me!

A search helicopter spotted a three-metre shark in the area shortly after the attack.

Dr Fry suffered superficial puncture wounds on his right shoulder and upper arm and was driven to hospital by his friends.

He said he would not be back in the sea for a week because of his injuries, but after that would be racing to get back in.

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(c) Sky News 2017: British doctor punches shark on the nose to escape attack