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The victim in his 30s was bitten by the beast while fishing near Varanus Island off the coast of Western Australia. He managed to escape from the jaws of the suspected lemon shark which he described as a “big one”. The skipper had been onboard a vessel with fellow members of a fishing charter group when the attack happened.
It is not clear how the shark got hold of the man who was attacked on Tuesday evening.
Fishermen on the boat administered first aid and made a hasty return to Exmouth Wharf where an ambulance was waiting.
It is not clear how long the journey took them but reports suggest they “travelled through the night” to reach their destination.
A report in The Australian said the man had spent 10 hours suffering on the fishing vessel before it reached land.
A lemon shark attacked a fishermen in Australia, biting his legs (Image: GETTY)
The lemon shark sank its teeth into the fisherman’s legs (Image: GETTY)
A spokeswoman for St John Ambulance told NCA NewsWire the man had a “few bites” to his lower body.
She said the man was attacked about 8.30pm and thankfully his wounds were not life-threatening.
She said his colleagues had given him pain relief and his wounds were cleaned and bandaged on the boat while he waited to reach the shore.
She added: “I think they did a pretty good job — they controlled the bleeding.”
The fisherman was flown to Perth on a Royal Flying Doctor Service jet (Image: GETTY)
After being treated at the local hospital in Exmouth he was flown to Perth for more medical care on board a Royal Flying Doctor Service jet.
According to reports, the injured fishermen described the shark as “a big one” and longer than 3 metres.
The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has since said it was a lemon shark.
The Sicklefin Lemon Shark, found in Australian waters can grow up to 3.8 metres in length.
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Lemon sharks live in warm waters around Australia (Image: GETTY)
They generally are found in waters less than 92 metres deep.
The local fishing authority is investigating the incident.
A marine expert has said attacks by lemon sharks are rare.
Peter Godfrey from the shark response unit at DPIRD said: “They’re quite large sharks, they have small teeth, usually bottom-dwelling and we don’t see many interactions with water users.”
An expert said lemon sharks are docile and are not prone to attacks (Image: GETTY)
He told ABC Australia the beasts are surprisingly quite docile and said he could not recall the last time a person was attacked by such a creature.
He said lemon sharks would undoubtedly defend themselves if they felt threatened.
He added: “If you stand on a shark or interact with a shark accidentally, it’s the shark doing what a shark does and responding.”
And Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) research scientist Conrad Speed also offered his assessment of the sharks.
Lemon sharks live off the Ningaloo coast (Image: GETTY)
Mr Speed has in the past worked off the Ningaloo coast, a coral reef in Western Australia, tagging lemon sharks.
He said typically the sharks are “shy” and would only approach humans if they were curious about fish being caught.
He said: “They’re like most species of sharks; they’re quite wary.”