"I should've just gone to the pub."
So said Tim McAndrew, 32, who was bitten by a shark at Crowdy Bay on Tuesday afternoon (March 15).
At around 5.20pm, Tim was about to jump on his board and paddle out for a surf about 80 metres down from the Crowdy Head Surf Club, when the suspected bull shark bit into his lower leg, leaving puncture wounds and lacerations.
"I was only in the water for about a minute. I was in chest deep water and had just come up from putting on my leg rope.
"Then 'wooshka', this thing has come in and hit me like a bowling ball and I thought 'what the f*** was that.
"I looked down and yeah, I saw the blood and thought 's*** I have been bitten by a shark'."
Tim runs a carpentry business in the Hunter region and was in Harrington for the week for work.
"The surf wasn't even that good which makes it worse," he said.
"We just wanted to have a quick surf before we went to dinner at the pub."
Tim's two employees, who were about to enter the surf with him, took him to the surf club's outside showers to get cleaned up before heading into the Emergency Department (ED) at Manning Base Hospital.
But the story doesn't end there.
"When we got to the ED and I told the triage nurse I had been bitten by a shark, she said 'oh another one!'," Tim said.
"She pointed in this guy's direction and I get chatting to him and he'd arrived at the ED 40 minutes before me. He had been bitten by a shark at Crowdy Bay too."
Tim said the guy told him he had been swimming laps at Crowdy Bay for around 30 years.
"Two shark bites in one arvo at the same place is pretty hectic."
And even so, Tim said he feels lucky the few punctures and seven stitches are all that have left its mark visibly.
"It is more of a love bite than anything, but I think I will have to buy a few lotto tickets."
Tim didn't get a glimpse of the shark, but presumes it was a bull considering recent sightings in the area.
"I was chatting to a local chippy (carpenter) and he said he saw a couple bulls while surfing at Crowdy on Saturday.
"I suppose the murky water doesn't help, and all the bait fish around."
After the attack, Tim has since become aware of the Bite Club, a group for shark attack survivors founded by one of our own, Dave Pearson of Coopernook.
Dave was attacked by a bull shark at Crowdy's South Side in 2011. Later Dave reported to the Times that 'the water was murky following rain and there were bait fish around' on the day of his attack.
Gold Coast surfer Mick Fanning became a member of Bite Club after he had a close call with a great white shark at a surfing contest in South Africa's J-Bay.
Tim said he has messaged Fanning to say 'hey I have joined the club' but has yet to get a reply.
He plans to ride out his week at Harrington, but is keen to get back to the Hunter to see his wife, two children and puppy.
"When I called my wife she thought I was joking and my daughter, who is seven, thought it was the funniest thing in the world."
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