The surfer, who lost his right leg as a result of a tiger shark attack, spoke of an “impressive” close collision with one of the creatures more than 20 years later.
Mike Coates underwent a partial amputation when he was bitten while landing a boogie in Kauai, Hawaii, at just 18 years old.
He escaped from life after hitting the beast in the face.
But despite the horrific ordeal, he returned to the sea just a month later.
Mike has become a shark advocate and still regularly dives with beasts in international hotspots to raise awareness.
And more than two decades later, he came face to face with a tiger shark for the first time since he was bitten.
The brave surfing photographer described the moment as “exciting”.
Writing in his Instagram account, he said, “Years ago a shark stole my leg. Today is my heart.
“I spent this last week diving into the clear warm waters of the Bahamas.
“I first encountered a tiger shark after being bitten, and I didn’t know what to expect.
“Impressive, fascinating, surreal and majestic words that can hardly be described.
“I have never felt threatened, and I will certainly never forget this experience.
“THEY STOLE MY HEART”
“Many thanks to the boat crew and friends who saw that this dream came true.”
Just three years ago, Mike made amazing shots of a great white off the coast of New Zealand.
His footage for most is a nightmare, but he said he was very happy to capture the moment.
Speaking at the time, he said: “When I was shooting, this Big White was coming right at me – literally a millimeter.
“It was literally like hanging out with dinosaurs. This is one of the coolest things you can do on earth. You can just feel the atmosphere of this predator.
MILLIMETERS FROM THE GREAT WHITE
“Stewart Island is one of the few places in the world where you can constantly dive with big whites, but you can still rarely see them so close.
“Their pictures actually reassure me. As a photographer, I just focused on taking pictures and capturing the movement. ”
The Hawaiian, who grew up in New Zealand and has dual citizenship, had previously discussed the horrific moment of his attack.
“I was just swimming on the wave when this tiger shark came up like a submarine, grabbed me and started shaking like a dog with meat,” he said.
“I punched him a couple of times and then came back to the board.
I saw something from the side and thought it was a shark, but it was my severed leg
“My hand was covered in blood, but I managed to start swimming back to shore. Then the right leg began to twitch.
“I saw something from the side that I thought was a shark.
“I looked around and it was my severed leg. I was just gushing blood from a missing limb.”
These days Mike has become a star on social media incredible shots in which he swims with sharks with a prosthetic leg.
He even developed a fin surfboard aimed at stopping shark removal.
Fins allow surfers to make it clear to others that they do not want sharks to be hunted if they die or are injured in the water.
He said: “It was a really interesting experience to use my unique situation to communicate with other people who enjoy the same thing as me.
“Sharks are not just cannibals, they are invaluable to the balance and health of our oceans.”