A 41-year-old man has had a chunk of flesh ripped from his thigh by a sharks at Belongil Beach near Byron Bay.
"There was a lot of thrashing and splashing and he started screaming," the victim's flatmate, Dane Davidson, told the ABC.
"I didn't realise until we were on the beach that there was a big chunk taken out of his leg.
"There was a lot of blood and bleeding."
Incredibly, the victim was able to paddle back to shore.
He was then airlifted to Gold Coast University hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
Belongli beach will be closed for the next 24-hours as lifeguards patrol the waters.