Despite the vast array of gorgeous beach in our region and the thousands of people who flock to them, shark attacks around the Illawarra are relatively uncommon.
The most famous and most serious attack in living memory came on March 30, 2016.
Brett Connellan and his mate Joel Trist were surfing about 150 metres from the shore when the attack on Brett happened.
A scream signalled the attack and despite his own safety being at risk from the shark, Trist paddled towards his stricken and bleeding friend.
Trist dragged his friend, who was missing a large part of his left thigh, to shore where, with the help of an off duty nurse, he applied life-saving torniquets.
Despite a long period in hospital, many surgeries and months of rehabilitation, Connellan has returned to the sport he loves.
"I was probably the happiest person alive when I was told that I could jump back onto my board," he said in 2017.
"Every time I surf I think about [the attack]. But I also think about the good that's come of it. I'm lucky to be alive and really lucky to have great people around me."
Before that attack you have to go back to 1966 to find the next most serious shark attack in the Illawarra. In February 1966 13-year-old Ray Short was dragged from surf at Coledale Beach with a white pointer attached to his leg.
The teenager had been surfing when the shark attacked, attaching itself to his leg and refused to let go even as lifesavers dragged them both up the beach.
More recently, in 2009, a then 24-year-old Steven Fogarty was left with 40 puncture wounds to his calf when he fought off a bull shark while snorkelling at Windang Bridge.
The same year, grandfather Les Wade, then 52, required more than 50 stitches after being attacked by a bronze whaler at Seven Mile Beach on June 27.
While shark sightings are common around the Illawarra, the history books show the instances of a fully fledged attack are rare.