August 04, 2020

Australia: Teenage surfer dies in shark attack in New South Wales

July 11, 2020

A 17-year-old surfer has died following a shark attack off the New South Wales coast of Australia, police say.

It is Australia's second fatal attack in just one week, and the fifth in the country this year.

The teenager was surfing at Wooli Beach, near Grafton, about 370 miles north of Sydney, when he was mauled.

The attack left him with severe bite injuries to his legs.

He was helped to the beach by fellow-surfers, where he was given medical aid and CPR, but despite efforts, he died at the scene.

A local resident told Nine News a large great white attacked the boy, before circling round for a second time. She also said the victim "screamed out" after the initial attack.

Local reports say officers were seen loading a white surfboard with a bite mark into the back of a police car.

Surf Life Saving New South Wales's Peter Sweetman told Australia's Seven News he thought it was likely the attack was carried out by "a two-and-a-half metre white pointer shark", although this is yet to be confirmed.

"White pointer" is another name for the great white, and the variety of shark that is responsible for the majority of recorded human bite incidents.

Following the attack, the beach was immediately closed to the public.

Wooli Beach is a 3km stretch of sand surrounded by the Pacific on one side and the Wooli Wooli River on the other.

The Visit NSW website describes it as "practically an island", and says that during the summer months, when there are safety patrols, the beach "is a safe place for the whole family".

Last Saturday, a 20-year-old scuba diver died following a shark attack off the coast of Queensland, on the eastern side of Fraser Island.

It isn't known what species of shark was responsible for the attack, but he had also been bitten around his legs, according to authorities.

The attack happened near Indian Heads, near to the site of another fatal shark attack in April, when Queensland wildlife ranger Zachary Robba, 23, was bitten by a great white.

In January, a 57-year-old diver was killed off Western Australia state, while a 60-year-old surfer was killed off Kingscliff in New South Wales state in June.

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