1. ITV Report

Shark attack victim: I looked into his eyeballs before he bit me

Steve Robles said he 'looked into the eyeballs' of a shark that attacked him. Credit: EBU

A swimmer who survived being mauled by a great white shark over the weekend has spoken about his ordeal and how he "looked into the eyeballs" of the animal before it bit into him.

Watch: The moment a shark attacked Steven Robles and the swimmer's take on the incident:

Steven Robles, 50, was taking his regular Saturday morning swim at Manhattan Beach in Southern California, when he ran into a seven-foot great white that had become trapped on a hook belonging to nearby fisherman.

I've swum in that water my whole life ... sharks are not interested in people. This stuff just doesn't happen.

By the time they'd cut that line loose I was in the wrong spot at the wrong time.

The shark was agitated and I was the first thing he saw.

– Shark attack victim Steven Robles

Robles said that he "looked into the eyeball" of the agitated animal as it bit into him - making the dedicated long distance swimmer the first shark attack victim in Los Angeles in more than a century, NBC Los Angeles reported.

I used my hand to grab his nose, pried him off me.

I mean, I thought that was it. For just a second I thought this was it, I was really scared.

– Steven Robles

He grappled with the shark, using his hand to yank the great white away from him - but not before the animal bit into the terrified swimmer.

Robles managed to escape relatively lightly with chest wounds and broken artery in his thumb.

The moment Steven Robles was pulled out of the water by surfers after being attacked by a great white in LA. Credit: APTN

A paddleboarder helped the swimmer who was "screaming at the top of his lungs" out of the water, while the whole incident was filmed by onlookers.

Robles has said that the experience has not put him off swimming - though he admitted that he is not quite ready to return to open water.

Steve Robles said that he is not ready to return to the ocean after the attack. Credit: EBU

The shark swam away straight after Robles had managed to shake it off, while the fisherman who caught it on their hook said that they didn't cut their line immediately after hooking the animal because swimmers and surfers were close by.

The great white shark is seen approaching paddleboarders in Southern California. Credit: EBU

It's against California law to fish for great white sharks.