( dpa )- A shark latched onto a fisherman's leg so tightly that his mates had to cut off its head to free him, news reports said Sunday.
The 20-year-old was fishing for tuna around 100 nautical miles off Australia's east coast when he attempted to haul the 2.5-metre mako shark aboard the commercial fishing boat.
"It was locked on, the bite has gone down to the bone," a spokesman for the helicopter service sent out to ferry the man to hospital said. "I've seen a photo of the wound and its pretty nasty."
Paramedic Darrin Hatchman , who went up in the helicopter, said the man was lucky to be alive because the teeth narrowly missed an artery.
"If it had been a couple of millimetres either way it would have been a real mercy dash to stop him from bleeding out," Hatchman told national broadcaster ABC.