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Father mauled while surfing once described himself as 'shark bait'

9News.com.au logo 9News.com.au 9/12/2018 9News Staff

A father-of-three who had previously described himself as "shark bait" has been mauled while surfing on the NSW Mid North Coast. 

Joel "Sonny" Mason, 36, was attacked by a shark near Scotts Head Beach in Nambucca Heads about 7.15am today. 

Mr Mason managed to swim to a nearby break wall, where he was helped from the water by an off-duty lifeguard. 

The surfer was flown to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but stable condition. © 9News The surfer was flown to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

His surf rope was used as a tourniquet until paramedics arrived. 

Mr Mason was flown to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but stable condition after an emergency stop to collect more blood. 

"He was extremely calm, he was extremely stoic I thought," Steve Fraser from Ambulance NSW said.

"He was helping us as much as he possibly could, an amazing young man."

Police said they had received information around 11:50am that an injured person had been found in the water off Mindarie. © AAP Police said they had received information around 11:50am that an injured person had been found in the water off Mindarie. The victim's father Rob Mason said he expected his son to return to the water when he recovers.

"He says he's 'shark bait', but he's prepared to take the risk and he does," he said.

"He may not go surfing by himself as often (after the attack) but I figure he still will."

a group of police officers riding on the back of a truck: Emergency services were called to Wellington Drive, Nambucca Heads, about 7.15am today. © Supplied Emergency services were called to Wellington Drive, Nambucca Heads, about 7.15am today.

Beaches in the area are currently closed, including Shelley Beach and Main Beach.

Officers from Mid North Coast Police District will liaise with Department of Primary Industry to investigate the circumstances surrounding today's incident and to identify the type of shark involved.

Over 71 days in recent months, there have been nine serious shark attacks in Australia.

Beachgoers are urged to follow safety advice by visiting the Department of Primary Industry's website and the SharkSmart app.

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