An Australian fisherman says he lost “liters” of blood from a gash in his leg after an encounter with a shark off Darwin Harbour.

Geoff Johnson, 50, needed 30 stitches in his right leg after his run-in with a nearly six-foot reef shark he hooked while out fishing with his partner Jacky Lamb.Johnson, of Wanguri, reeled in the fish and tried to grab it by the tail so he could free the hook from its mouth.

But the shark fought back, biting Johnson on his right knee, the Northern Territory News reports.

The fishing hook then became stuck in his leg, and as the shark thrashed around, the hook ripped a huge gash in his leg.

"I just pulled it on board and it thrashed around a little bit and the hook sliced my leg," he said. “The hook did more damage than the shark. There was blood going everywhere. I reckon I would have lost liters. I had to lay down and Jacky had to drive the boat back in."

It took the pair about 45 minutes to make it back to shore, where Ken O'Brien and Chris Young, who had just come in from their own fishing trip, ran to help.

A female employee from the Darwin Trailer Boat Club also gave first aid.

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