Phil Mummert came face-to-face with a shark and lived to tell the tale

Phil Mummert with his surfboard after he was bitten and knocked off his board by a shark at Bunker Bay. Image supplied.
Phil Mummert with his surfboard after he was bitten and knocked off his board by a shark at Bunker Bay. Image supplied.

Surfer Phil Mummert reckons there was just 30 centimetres between his face and the five-metre shark that blasted him off his board.

And in that instant, the 28-year-old said to himself: "Yup, this is happening."

And it was. But maybe it panned out differently to how he first imagined in that terrifying moment.

Instead three complete strangers and that busted board hanging from his leg rope teamed up to make Mr Mummert a shark survivor not a shark victim.

He was surfing at Bunker Bay beach, near Dunsborough in Western Australia's south-west, when the shark charged him.

In knocking him from his board, the monster bit the board in half and took a bite of his leg.

"The next thing I knew I was in the water and the shark was just sitting in front of me," he explained. "It was just sitting there pointed straight towards me within arm's reach, only 30 centimetres away."

With the remnant of the board still attached to his leg rope, Mr Mummert hit survival mode.

"The shark was just sitting there and I was just trying to shove the board into its mouth - and that is when I could see just how chunky it was - it was just massive and so wide."

"I was trying to keep my eyes on it all time, I did not want it to sneak up on me, I was following it so I could stay looking at it," he said.

"That is when it came around me and I saw the size of its fin, the dorsal fin that was sticking out of the water was just huge.

"It came around me and came back at me a little bit, again I was trying to jab it with the board.

"I pushed it away with my hand and felt how rough its skin was, I tried to kick it at one point, I tried to do anything to keep it away."

Phil Mummert with the remnants of his board.

Phil Mummert with the remnants of his board.

Another surfer Alex Oliver made his way towards Mr Mummert and pulled him up on his board.

"Once I was up on his board I don't remember seeing the shark again, it must have swam away by that point," he said.

"Two other guys - Jess Woolhouse and Liam Ryan - made it over to us as well.

"It was so good when those three guys were around me, at that point I knew I was going to be okay."

Mr Mummert said he could feel something on his leg but had not seen the injury and was not in any pain.

"It wasn't until we got onto the beach that I turned around to see the damage," he said.

"The guys were trying to block it and told me, 'no, you don't want to look at it'.

"Once we got to the beach one of the guys Andy clamped his hands around my leg and held on for the entire time until the paramedics arrived.

The warning sign at the beach.

The warning sign at the beach.

"It wasn't bleeding that much, Andy held onto my leg putting pressure on it for a good half an hour.

"I was lying on Alex's longboard there was a whole bunch of people waiting to help when we got to the beach.

"I stayed on the board like a stretcher everyone carried me from the beach to a paddock, they laid me down there and waited until the police and paramedics came.

"Not long after that the helicopter arrived and airlifited me to Bunbury hospital.

"I was in shock the whole time, there was no point I felt in pain, I guess the shock and adrenaline blocked out the pain.

"They got me on the green whistle so I never had much pain at all."

Two of the men tracked down Mr Mummert's partner, Mish Wright, who was walking their dog at the eastern end of Bunker Bay.

"She handled everything really well and could see everyone was looking after me and everything was under control, she was super calm about it."

Ms Wright and Mr Mummert's mum returned to the beach with him after the attack, a visit he described as "a bit emotional". And they're not the only ones feeling that way.

"There are a few guys who are definitely pretty rattled having a front row seat to the incident," Mr Mummert said.

Bunker Bay, near Dunsborough, WA.

Bunker Bay, near Dunsborough, WA.

While still processing the whole incident, the surfer is remains etrenally thankful to his saviours.

"I am so grateful to those three guys Alex, Jess and Liam, it was just amazing how they could come towards me with such a big animal there.

"They were total strangers. I have since caught up with them and they are just the best guys."

There have been five fatal shark attacks in Australia this year.

In January, experienced diver Gary Johnson was taken near Cull Island, close to West Beach in Esperance, WA.

Most recently a 10-year-old boy miraculously suffered only cuts when a a great white snatched him from a fishing boat about five kilometres offshore from Stanley in north-west Tasmania in July.

Days later another father-son team were left trying to piece together why a shark - suspected as being a great white - rammed their boat in Tasmanian waters.

Launceston fisherman Sean and James Vinar were checking out seals when, in SEan's words: "... there was just an almighty thump on side of the boat, this shark just flew out of the water and latched onto the side of the boat."

This story The bite a 5m great white took from my board: shark attack survivor tells all first appeared on Busselton-Dunsborough Mail.