Local News

Surfer attacked by shark at Ballina beach

A 17 year-old was injured in the attack

A surfer has been bitten on the upper thigh by a shark at Lighthouse Beach at Ballina, on the New South Wales north coast.

Police say the youth made his way out of the water and was helped by off-duty nurses who was at the beach, before paramedics arrived at the scene.

The surfer, 17, suffered a number of cuts to his leg, and is now being treated at Ballina District Hospital. A rescue helicopter was initially called to the beach, but was not needed and the boy was eventually taken by road ambulance.

Richmond Police Inspector Nicole Bruce said: “He received lacerations and bite marks to the upper thigh area, he was assisted into the shore and off-duty nurses treated him.

“We’ve got the surfboard and the bite marks will be analysed by the DPI (the Department of Primary Industries).

Inspector Bruce added that it was not known if a great white was responsible because no-one saw the shark during the attack:

“There has been [a] sighting of a great white, a four-metre shark, further off the shore but no-one actually saw which shark it was that’s bitten him.”

A Surf Life Saving NSW spokesman said all beaches in the Ballina Shire – Lennox Head, Sharpes Beach, Shelley Beach (Ballina) and Lighthouse Beach – had been closed and would remain so for at least 24 hours following the attack.

Professional surfer Sam Morgan suffered injuries to his upper left thigh when a bull shark bit him while he was surfing at Lighthouse Beach last year.

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