As Craig McDougall walked the 500m back to his home the only thing that was running through his mind was 'slow down your heart rate'.

The 43-year-old had just been attacked by a shark.

For the Pelican Waters man, July 9, 2019 started the same as every other.

He was up at 5am, grabbed his board and headed down the road and through the scrub, to what he calls his "own private beach".

Mr McDougall jumped on his paddle board and headed for the mouth of the passage.

"I got about half way down and something got tangled in my leg rope and pulled my leg back which caused me to fall off the board," Mr McDougall said.

"I thought it was actually a ray that got me off the board and I put my hand into the water.

"I felt a quick bite to my left arm, I swam to the bank and realised he'd perfectly bit my artery."

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Mr McDougall sat on the banks of the passage with blood gushing from his wrist.

"It was bleeding pretty badly so I just tourniquet my hand up and I was trying to get my board back but I couldn't force myself to get back in the water," he said.

"I started walking, I made it all the way home and rang the ambos.

"I was just trying to slow my heart rate, once I cocked my hand forward it was fine but I was worried about bleeding out and fainting."

Mr McDougall spent just a few hours at Caloundra Hospital.

"They patched me up and my artery healed very quickly and I was home by lunchtime, back in the water by 3pm, and at work the next day," he said.

"I go down every day for a paddle or a swim.

"I'm not a cowboy- it's clear water, it's very visible, I know where they hang out and where they feed.

"I'm not just blasé to swim around in there."

Mr McDougall said the nip from the bull shark hasn't deterred his love for the water.

"You've got more of a chance of being struck by lightning 10 times then that happening to you," Mr McDougall said.

"You've just got to take it for what it is, you're out there borrowing their territory.

"What happened was unfortunate but it wasn't the animals fault, all's well that ends well."

With an extraordinary tale to tell, Mr McDougall has joined an exclusive group, known as "Bite Club".

The survivor support group a place for the victims to come together and share their stories.

"I haven't contacted any bite clubs members yet but yeah I guess I'm in it now," he said.

He laughed as he added, "I still have to buy my own beers at the pub."


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