SHARK attack survivor Dean Everson has learned a lot since was attacked in the surf at Yamba almost five years ago to the day.

Mr Everson says yesterday's fatal attack off Shelly Beach at Ballina, where a 41-year-old man died after a shark bit off both his legs, bore some similarities to his experience.

"Dirty water, on a run-out tide near a river mouth," Mr Everson said.

"I copped a lot of flak for being in dirty water when I was attacked."

The attack has not stopped the fisherman, keen surfer and diver from pursuing his love of the ocean, but it has taught him something about risk management.

"When humans get into the ocean, they do so out they're own risk," he said. "I was a 17-year-old kid who didn't know anything.

"Now there is no way I would have been in the water like it was as Ballina yesterday."

Mr Everson also knows how plentiful sharks are in the waters off our beaches.

"Last year, I was helping out a mate on a prawn trawler off Ballina and we were throwing the by-catch back into the water.

"For more than 100 metres there was just sharks thrashing about feeding.

"And just a few hundred metres away, there was all these people swimming at the beach.

"Yet there was absolutely no human and shark contact."



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