Richard Wands, 33, from Scotland, was more than 150 feet away from the beach when he saw the shark coming towards him and yelled to alert other surfers.

There were 13 sharks nearby feeding on a dolphin carcass, but luckily for Wands, only one shark spotted him. Not so lucky for the dolphin.

He described the incident as “a heart-stopping moment and was the meanest, nastiest, most frightening thing ever.”

The shark was swimming directly towards him, so he got off his board and used it to defend himself. “I saw it turn and it came straight for me, in a dead straight line, undeviating, and it genuinely felt like a true final approach, as it were.

“I speared the board into the water to try and deter it. That seemed to work but it came back again so I used the board again and it moved away. I was totally scared and defintely thought I would be coming out of the water with one appendage fewer.”

The shark certainly would have liked that, as Tiger sharks are the second most dangerous to humans after the great white. A leg would have made a great snack.

Thankfully, Wands managed to get away:  “a wave happened to pitch up at the most convenient moment ever and I just belly-flopped onto it and just ran it in on my front.”

The beach has now been closed indefintely and helicopters and officers have been patroling to stop people from going into the water.

Wands added: “I genuinely think this thing was looking for a limb, if not more than that. If it had struck blood my gut feeling is that might have encouraged the other sharks to get involved as well, and then there might be a different story today.”