A holidaymaker was tossed into the air by a great white shark in Plettenberg Bay. File picture: Shark Diving Unlimited

Port Elizabeth – A holidaymaker from Gauteng had a brush with a shark while paddling in the sea off Plettenberg Bay with two friends on Monday morning.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Plettenberg Bay station commander, Marc Rodgers, said 55-year-old Ben Swart from Pretoria was tossed into the air by a suspected four-metre great white shark.

Regular paddlers, Swart and two friends, Nick Bester and Ronald Pronk, were paddling from Central Beach to Keurbooms on their three surf-skis.

About 400 metres off-shore, well behind the back-line and without warning, Swart felt a hard bump from underneath his surf-ski and was thrown into the air and landed in the water.

Rodgers said the shark took a fair bite out of Swart's surf-ski.

"Realising that a shark, believed to be a White Shark, and believed to be about four metres in size, had breached from underneath his surf-ski, knocking the surf-ski into the air and taking a fair sized bite out of his surf-ski, Ben was able to swim back to his damaged surf-ski which still had a fair amount of buoyancy," said Rodgers.

There were no further sightings of the shark after the initial incident. Rodgers said NSRI coastal watchers would monitor the Plettenberg coastline while the public, bathers and paddlers were urged to be cautious.