Surfer Unaware He Had Been Bitten by a Shark

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An Australian surfer received an unusual diagnosis when he went to hospital with cuts to his right hand and a gash on his leg -- he had been attacked by a shark.
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An Australian surfer received an unusual diagnosis when he went to hospital with cuts to his right hand and a gash on his leg -- shark attack.

The 26-year-old man was surfing late Thursday at Shelly Beach, near Port Macquarie on the country's east coast, when he felt something hit his right hand.

"The man noticed he had cuts to his right hand and blood on his leg," New South Wales state police said in a statement.

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"He did not see a shark and was unaware at the time that he could have been bitten by one.

"The surfer took himself to Port Macquarie Hospital where he was informed the wounds were consistent with a shark bite."

The man was treated for puncture wounds to his hand and a cut to his leg.

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An expert will attempt to identify the species of shark involved in the incident, which comes just days after a fatal shark attack about 125 kilometers (78 miles) north of Port Macquarie at Coffs Harbor.

Nineteen-year-old Zac Young died on November 30 after he was mauled by a shark -- later identified as a tiger shark -- while sitting upright on his boogie board with his legs in the water at Campbells Beach.

Young's death came a week after a 35-year-old surfer was killed by a shark on Australia's west coast.

Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.

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