updated 9/8/2008 8:47:52 PM ET 2008-09-09T00:47:52

A large shark entangled itself in a surfer's leg rope in Australia and began towing him and his board out to sea, the surfer said Tuesday.

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John Morgan, a 51-year-old surf shop owner from the east coast tourist town of Byron Bay, compared his terrifying 170-foot ride off a local beach to being towed by a jet ski.

He said he was about 330 yards from shore and paddling out when the 10-foot shark swelled up from underneath him Sunday afternoon.

"It freaked me out," Morgan said. "It bumped my leg rope and next thing it tangled itself in the leg rope and started charging out to sea with me in tow."

"To say it was like being towed by a jet ski might be an exaggeration, but it was really fast," he added.

Morgan said he clung to the board until the shark suddenly freed itself and disappeared. The rope was not damaged and remained attached to the board and his ankle.

Morgan said he was not sure what kind of shark it was.

"He was probably as freaked out as I was," Morgan said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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