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Peter O’Halloran had decided to go out snorkelling in the popular holiday spot of Exmouth on Australia’s Western coast. He was about 400 metres from the Exmouth marina when the terrifying attack happened. The shark’s razor sharp teeth ripped through the flesh on Mr O’Halloran’s arm, before swimming off.

Mr O’Halloran was flown to Perth for treatment and was operated on by surgeons.

Fortunately the injuries were not life threatening and the intrepid snorkeler is expected to make a full recovery.

Mr O’Halloran displayed his injuries to journalists.

Showing the media an X-ray of his wounds, he said: “It goes right through the meat.

“They said there was a bit of bone missing. That’s right through the top, through all the meat there.”

When asked whether it was painful, he cooly replied: “Nah, not a problem.”

The 57-year-old has been swimming in the Exmouth waters for many years and admitted that the thought of being attacked by sharks was always in the back of his mind.

Investigators are still trying to work out which type of shark attacked the swimmer.

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A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman said: “It is unknown what caused the laceration to his foot, the patient reports he was struck in the chest by the shark but not bitten.

“It is understood the patient did make his own way home and then he and his partner began to drive towards Bundaberg Base Hospital.”

This latest incident adds fuel to the fire of those concerned over the safety of swimmers in the popular tourist region.

Fishermen working for local authorities have caught 22 sharks in waters around the Great Barrier Reef in culls over the past few years, including a massive 11.5ft tiger shark.

However, the state government abandoned its catch-and-kill policy last September, after it lost a Federal Court appeal to use bait hooks to catch the sharks.

A Humane Society challenge to the baiting was upheld and an appeal against the Administrative Appeals Tribunal was turned down.

Queensland’s state government had organised the culls, so as to protect swimmers at 27 beaches within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The state’s premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said after the ruling that: “We fought this in the courts because we simply believe that human life must be prioritised over the lives of sharks.

“The decision effectively means that the programme would become a catch-and-release programme within the marine park.”

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