SYDNEY: An Australian man had a lucky escape on Wednesday after being thrown from his surf-ski when it was rammed and then attacked by a shark, forcing a friend to rush to his rescue, officials said.
The man was out paddling with friends on the surf-ski, also known as a sea kayak, at Perth's Mullaloo Beach when he felt a "significant thump on the back half of his surf-ski", Surf Life Saving WA said.
Initially he thought a jet-ski had hit him.
"He was flung into the water and turned around to see the tail of the shark moving through," the surf authority's community manager Chris Peck told local media.
The shark -- believed to be a three-metre (10-foot) Great White -- then attacked the kayak with its jaws, Peck said.
Fisheries spokesman Mike Burgess said the shark "has taken a bite at the end of the ski".
"Certainly the force has thrown him out of the ski," he said, adding that there was "documented evidence of Great Whites attacking small craft."
Authorities commended the bravery of a fellow paddler who went to the marooned man's rescue, paddling past the shark to pick him up.
"Who knows what might have happened if he had to have swum 150 metres (feet) into shore and not had someone there to help out," Peck said.
It was the second shark attack off the west coast Wednesday, with a five-metre shark reportedly lunging out of the ocean at a commercial fisherman hauling crab pots in the West Coast Dive Park south of Perth.
"A big, big shark, he was talking around the five-metre mark, came up and had a big bite and tried to get whatever was inside," Burgess said.
Western Australia ruled out a shark cull in April after a diver was killed by a Great White while looking for crayfish -- the fourth fatal incident in seven months.
Sharks are a common feature of Australian waters but fatal attacks are rare.
Experts say the average number of attacks in Australia -- about 15 a year, with at least one being fatal -- have increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.