Australian Shark Attacks: Third Incident in 3 Weeks, Surfer Punched Shark (VIDEO)

The third such attack in three weeks saw a shark attacking a surfer in the waters near Sydney, Australia.

Australia typically has three shark attacks a year. It is unclear why sharks have attacked three surfers, not even a full month into the new year.

The latest victim was David Pickering, a 26-year-old snorkeling instructor. He reportedly was swimming in Coral Bay on Thursday when a shark bit his arm.

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Pickering fought off the shark by punching it and taking swings at it with his other arm, according to reports.

The swimmer was hospitalized from his injuries.

There were other swimmers in the water at the time of the attack, but no other injuries were reported.

Earlier this week a shark attacked a 44-year-old surfer. Glen 'Lennie' Folkard, a father of one, was surfing north of Sydney when he was attacked.

Folkard sustained injuries to his lower half as a result of the attack and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Folkard’s condition is unclear.

He lost significant amounts of blood as he swam back to shore after being bitten by a bull shark, which jumped out of the water before biting the surfer, according to reports. The shark also bit a chunk out of his surfboard.

The beach reportedly has a safety net around it to prevent sharks from getting close to people. It remains unclear why the attack occurred and how the shark navigated through he deterrents.

The beach was crowded with swimmers and other surfers at the time of the attack, according to reports.

A similar incident occurred on Jan. 3, involving a 28-year-old surfer at a beach north of Sydney.

The surfer survived an attack after suffering injuries to his arm while surfing in the typically safe waters along Australia’s coastline.

Shark attacks can often happen in clusters. Similar spikes have previously been reported off the coasts of Florida and California.

The recent attacks could spark a renewal of the debate surrounding the use of safety nets along Australia’s coast. Environmental groups allege they do not work and are unsafe to other marine life.

More than 50 beaches near Sydney have the safety nets, which wrap from one side to the other and sit in water roughly 50 feet deep.

To see a video of the instructor, see below:

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