For anybody whose partner is a keen surfer, you’re likely to have been kept up at night thinking about the risk of a shark attack.

Chantelle Doyle, 35, was surfing off Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie, New South Wales, when she was bitten on her right leg by the great white.

Her husband punched the shark until it released its grip and then helped Ms Doyle to the shore.

She was airlifted to hospital with serious injuries.

Experts told the Port Macquarie News they believed Ms Doyle had been mauled by a juvenile great white shark up to 3m (or 10ft) in length.

Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive Steven Pearce praised the husband Mark Rapley for his quick action.

“This fella paddled over and jumped off his board on to the shark and hit it to get it to release her and then assisted her back into the beach,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

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“Pretty full on, really heroic.”