A British surfer had a lucky escape from a shark he described as "as big as a submarine".

Nick Williams, who was only recently married, was waiting for a wave at Seal Point, South Africa, when he saw a seal shoot past him. He thought nothing of it until moments later a 18-inch fin menancingly surged by.

Luckily for the honeymooning Williams, the swell created by the monster thrust him clear of its path – and allowed him to catch a wave to the safety of the shore.

Williams, 47, told The Sun.: "It was like the hand of God picked me up and saved me."

A brave – or perhaps foolish – Williams was back in the sea an hour later. "If you surf, you have to take your chance," he told the Daily Star.

The Newquay, Cornwall man did later admit to being terrified at the time the Jaws-like creature lunged through the water.

“It was an absolute monster. I thought:

‘I’ve been married a few days and now I’m going to die.’”

Meanwhile, film director Rob Stewart, whose critically embraced 2006 documentary, Sharkwater, strove to save sharks from extinction, said the big fish were slowly disappearing during our lifetime.

"Every year, 7-10 billion people swim in the ocean; of those, just 70

– 100 people are bitten by sharks, most of them only requiring

stitches," he said.

"An average of only 5 people die; when sharks do make mistakes

and bite people, they rarely remove flesh. If sharks wanted to eat

people, they would, and those numbers would skyrocket.

"Because of this irrational fear, the fact that 100 million sharks

are killed each year for their fins goes largely unnoticed. The reality, which most

scuba divers know, is that sharks are mostly harmless to humans but are

incredibly important animals to the oceans and thus, life on earth."