Australian surfer survives horrific shark attack

Phil Mummert, 28, fought off a 16-foot shark that bit through his board and part of his leg.
2:23 | 08/14/20

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Transcript for Australian surfer survives horrific shark attack
Want to turn to that incredible great white shark escape. An Australian surfer surviving a shark encounter by fighting off the predator with his surfboard after he was bitten. He's speaking out this morning. Our Matt Gutman joins us with this story. Good morning to you, Matt. Reporter: Hey, good morning, T.J. That surfer Phil Mummert says it came at him like a giant trash compacter snapping his board like it was a cracker, then biting into his leg. As you mentioned he used that remnant of his board to stuffer it into the shark's mouth before fellow surfers finally came in to rescue him. This morning, the surfer who fought off a shark with his bare hands and his board is out telling his story. Massive, massive shark sitting there right in front of me like one foot away just staring at me. Reporter: Phil Mummert was out surfing in western Australia when a 16-foot shark chomped through his board and into part of his leg. Knocking him into the water. I just grabbed that board with both hands and was shoving it into its mouth just trying to kind of hold it in there because I figured that if it was biting on that board then it wasn't biting on me. Reporter: Fellow surfers paddling furiously towards the shark and man. By the time I got there he's holding the nose of his board. He had that much of the nose of his board. Reporter: The 28-year-old geologist needed emergency surgery to stitch up the deep wounds on his leg. The injury on the same side of his body as a tattoo that Phil has of a shark's jaw. After his rescuers paddled Phil back to shore, a beachgoer clamped his hand on the wound for 30 minutes until help arrived. Phil had over 60 staples put in him but somehow avoided significant damage. The result ended up being such a good outcome it could have easily been a different story. Reporter: And it could have been but Phil recently got to meet his rescuers and they did the surfer thing which is vow to all go surfing again as soon as Phil's leg heals up. Now, the fact is shark attack deaths are really uncommon. In fact, statistically you are more likely to be killed by a falling coconut. Amy. Okay. That's, I guess, something to put things in perspective. How did he know he would go back to the water. I knew you would say he couldn't wait to get back on his surfboard.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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