Surfer has foot ripped off in gruesome sustained and prolonged shark attack

A surfer had his "foot ripped off" in a gruesome "sustained and prolonged" shark attack while surfing the waves.

Toby Begg, 44, endured the 30-second attack after a great white encounter at Watonga Rocks in Port Macquarie, Australia.

The predator is believed to have been a terrifying 3.8 to 4.2metre long great white shark, which latched onto Toby's legs during a morning coastal attack, leaving the surfer with hip and calf injuries.

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He also sustained "significant lower leg injuries" according to a chief inspector who says Toby fought the shark for as long as he could before making a break back to shore.

Chief Inspector Martin Burke said: "The reports are that a man has tried to fight this shark for 30 seconds and has then swum himself to shore where he has realised he has sustained significant lower leg injuries.

"From what I understand, it was a sustained and prolonged attack."

Mr Begg's life-threatening injuries were treated in hospital, with the surfer undergoing surgery after being attended by an off-duty doctor immediately after the shark encounter, 9news reported.

The presence of the doctor at the scene, who applied a tourniquet to Toby's leg, would give him "the best chance of survival" according to Chief Inspector Burke.

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A teenage witness described the 'scary' attack to 9News, saying: "I have never seen anything like it.

"His foot ripped off and basically he was bleeding everywhere. They were trying to talk to him, he was silent, he was frozen.

"They tried to tie his leg with the leg rope from the surfboard and some sticks to keep it straight."

Chief Inspector Burke added: "To have the absolute luck of having an emergency department doctor on scene are all going to be key things that are going to lend itself to giving this gentleman the best chance of survival."

The inspector has since spoken to members of the surfing community, who all say they are in "nature's playground" when it comes to spending time in the ocean.

Inspector Joshua Smyth from NSW Ambulance confirmed Begg had sustained significant blood loss and trauma as bystanders stepped in to help.

Mr Smyth said: "The bystanders obviously did a remarkable job on the patient initially and to initially arrest that hemorrhage and call triple zero. The crews did a really remarkable job."

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