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Kevin Lloyd - a keen spearfisherman and diver - was out spearfishing near the Cavalli Islands in Northland with friends yesterday when he was attacked by a 7ft mako shark about 11am.
The 24-year-old had just speared a kingfish when the shark "came out of nowhere" and latched on to his leg and then bit his hand.
"My mate couldn't see anything because there was blood everywhere.
"I couldn't see what was going on I just knew there was a shark biting me. It managed to let go of my hands and then it swam off into the murk.
"I was stunned. I couldn't believe it was happening. We dive with sharks all the time but this shark we hadn't seen."
Lloyd and his friend swam back to the boat which was about 200m away and applied first aid. They then picked up another friend who they had dropped off in a different spot and headed to Matauri Bay to meet emergency services.
He was transported to Bay of Islands Hospital. He has 10 stitches in his hand but because of the nature of his leg wound and the high chance of infection it was decided to let it heal over time.
Despite the attack, Lloyd still managed to land the kingfish he had just shot.
"I'm pretty stoked about that. In the whole commotion, my gunline and the fish - the spear was through it - and that was wrapped around me. I started swimming back and it was still there so I grabbed it."
Lloyd goes spearfishing and diving quite often and said the incident hadn't made him more wary of going back into the water.
He wanted people to know this was the action of one shark, not all.
"This is the first time I've genuinely been scared of a shark."