Sydney, Nov 14 (IANS) A British doctor on Tuesday said that he escaped a shark by punching it in the face after the animal tried to attack him in Australia.

Charlie Fry, 25, was at Avoca Beach, north of Sydney, on Monday when the shark "jumped out of the water and hit him in the right shoulder", reports the BBC.

"I saw this shark come out of the water and breach its head and I punched it in the face with my left hand," Fry told Australian media.

"When it happened, I was like, 'just do what Mick did, just punch it in the nose,'" he said.

Surfer Mick Fanning, famously fended off a shark during a competition in 2015.

The shark left scratches and a small puncture wound on Fry's arm. Police said the shark was about 6.5 ft long.

A helicopter rescue service photographed what is said was most likely a bronze whaler shark nearby shortly afterwards.

The beach was closed on Tuesday.

There have been 18 shark attacks, including one fatal incident, in Australia this year, according to the Australian Shark Attack File.