13-year-old surfer bitten by shark [WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE]

13-year-old surfer bitten by shark
Pics: Facebook

A teenage girl has told how a small shark tried to drag her from her board after biting her ankle as she surfed off the Australian east coast.

Kirra-Belle Olsson, 13, was surfing off Avoca Beach, 60 miles north of Sydney, when she was bitten on the left ankle by a 3ft shark, police said.

She suffered puncture wounds to her foot and a cut to her calf, police said.

Kirra-Belle, who has won numerous junior surfing titles, said she initially thought the shark was a friend tugging on her leg.

"It just swung me around and tried to pull me under and I saw the tail and ... I really didn't know what to do so I just started screaming," she told Australian Broadcasting Corporation at Gosford Hospital.

"I paddled ... in shock (I) just started laughing, I was like, 'Whoa, what the hell, I just got bitten by a shark,'" she told Seven Network television.

Kirra-Belle, who lives at nearby Copacabana, was treated on the beach by onlookers, who then drove her to the hospital.

13-year-old surfer bitten by shark

She said she expects to compete in national title competitions in Western Australia state in December despite her injuries.

Two weeks ago, a surfer had part of his arm torn off by a suspected 13ft great white shark while surfing off the coast of Western Australia near the town of Esperance.

Although sharks are common in Australian waters, the country has averaged fewer than two fatal attacks per year in recent decades.

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