‘You do everything to survive’
A French backpacker has returned to Bells Beach a month after he was bitten by a shark.
Dylan Nacass, aged 23, was lucky to escape with his life and limbs after punching the apex predator as grabbed hold of his leg.
He took to the waves on Wednesday afternoon determined to put the incident behind him.
While return to the surf might be intimidating for some, he told the Geelong Advertiser returning to the water was an important step in moving forward.
"(I was) a little bit scared, but not too much," Mr Nacass said.
"I just have to give thanks for my life. Bells Beach is one of the best spots (to surf). It has the best waves."
Mr Nacass admitted he was lucky to escape with just a few stitches and gashes to his legs, and moments in the immediate aftermath the attack still seemed a little surreal.
"In the situation, you don't know what is going on or the position of the shark," he said.
"You do everything to survive."
Torquay man Matt Sedunary was just mere metres away from the action when he heard someone cry for help
"At first I just thought he was having a laugh with his mates, then I saw the fin," Mr Sedunary told the Geelong Advertiser at the time.
Mr Nacass said the pair have kept in touch in the weeks since, and he owes him a massive thank you.
"He is brave like a lion," he said. "Matt is a really good person. There are not many people who would do the same thing."
Footage of the shark following the pair as they paddled to shore has amassed hundreds of thousands of views across Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Despite the incident, Mr Nacass held no ill-will toward the shark.
"When I surf now, I think I'm tougher," he said.
"I love animals too, and I just want the best for the world."
Originally published as 'You do everything to survive': Surfer recalls shark terror