World News

NSW beach closed after white shark attack

NSW beach closed after white shark attack

The 43-year-old was surfing off popular tourist spot Shelly Beach in Ballina some 750 kilometres (460 miles) north of Sydney, when a shark ripped into his left calf, New South Wales state police said.

After repelling the shark, he managed to get himself back to the beach and apply a tourniquet to the 20cm gaping wound before driving himself to Ballina Hospital.

DPI shark biologists have measured the shark tooth imprints on the surfboard and believe the shark involved was a juvenile white shark of around 2.6 metres in total length.

Beaches around the Ballina area are expected to be closed for at least 24 hours after a request from police. "He transferred to Lismore Hospital".

A Japanese surfer died more than three years ago at the same beach in Ballina after a shark bit off both his legs during a spate of attacks in the region.

It is understood he fought the shark off with his surfboard and was able to paddle to shore.

Shark nets at Shelly Beach and four others on the north coast were removed in May after a almost five-month NSW government trial.

Surf Lifesavers had been using drones to patrol the area after the incident, but were unable to locate the shark.

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Cr Wright said he was unsure if the SMART drumlines were now out in the water. "We just don't need that", he said.

Surf Life Saving New South Wales are asking people to stay out of the water and avoid the beach.

Dr Christidis was given immediate first aid from the group of doctors and medical practitioners he was with, and he was flown to Mackay Base Hospital in a critical condition.

"We understand the man had lacerations and a bite on his calf", she said.

Ms Wishart said SLS NSW would also be monitoring the other Ballina beaches.

The attack follows a horror week on Australia's east coast, which has already seen the death of a 33-year-old man further north at the Whitsunday Islands.

In September, two Australian tourists were mauled on consecutive days, one a 12-year-old girl who lost a leg.