A surfer at Pauanui Beach is counting himself lucky today, after a shark attacked his surfboard and he managed to drive it away with a swift punch to the nose.
Senior lifeguard at the popular Coromandel beach, Sam Cox told 1 NEWS he and surf lifesaving captain Stuart Upjohn got a call around 10.30am this morning to say someone had been attacked by a shark about 150 metres offshore.
The pair made their way to the carpark where the surfer and his friend had arrived after the harrowing ordeal in the water.
"By the sounds of it, the shark came up and grabbed onto the surfboard and he punched it and then paddled in," Mr Cox said.
The surfer, who was not known to be a local, emerged unscathed save for a small "paper cut" however the surfboard "had some clear punctures in it," Mr Cox said.
He said the surfer was shaken up but unharmed, and after a checking over by the surf crew was deemed safe to go home.
"We made sure he was all good and they seemed fine. He was obviously a bit shaken up," Mr Cox said.
"He was a very lucky guy, or unlucky I guess to have come across a shark."
Mr Cox said as per protocol, the beach was closed and shark sighting signs were erected for the next two hours, re-opening about 1.15pm.
While he says sharks in the water are not uncommon, there are only about two beach closures a year due to sightings.
While he has been a lifeguard at Pauanui Beach for three years, Mr Cox said others have been involved for some 10-15 years and have never seen a shark attack at the beach.
"We've all just been talking about it and no-one here has ever heard of something like this," he said.