Sharks are a constant threat in some areas, and no one knows that better than the people who strike out into the waves themselves. Surfers and swimmers have to be careful, especially when they knowingly share space frequented by the large, dangerous creatures.
On Tuesday morning at Tuncurry Beach in Australia, police say one surfer warned his friends that he’d spotted sharks — and though his friends made it out unharmed, he did not.
The unnamed 59-year-old surfer was reportedly on vacation with three friends when the shark bit him in the right thigh, causing serious damage. Though his friends got him out of the water and first responders attempted to revive him, the man died on the beach.
“Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene the man could not be resuscitated,” the NSW Ambulance Twitter account shared on Tuesday.
#UPDATE Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene the man could not be resuscitated
— NSW Ambulance (@NSWAmbulance) May 18, 2021
“It’s believed that when the attack occurred the man did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others and, very heroically, his friends were able to bring him back in to shore after he had been attacked,” police Superintendent Christopher Schilt said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Sharks had been spotted in the area recently, and locals explained to 7NEWS Australia that the sharks were likely there as they were following the migration of their food source, mullet.
The wound on the man’s leg suggested the shark that bit him was probably around 14 feet in length and likely a great white. The man’s surfboard is also being looked at to glean more information.
“At this stage were are working with Department of Primary Industries who’ve got people coming down here to identify the species of the shark that did attack the man,” Schilt continued.
“There was some damage to the board; the board will be getting forensically examined … we’ve got scientists from the DPI who are working with our forensic police and they will use the damage from the board to assess what kind of shark it was.”
The beaches in the area have been closed, drones are monitoring the area and baited lines have been set. This attack marks the first one in the area since 2016, and the first fatal attack in Australia this year.
“It’s pretty unprecedented. I can’t recall ever having a shark attack in this area,” Brian Wilcox from Surf Life Saving told ABC, according to CBS News. “The process for Surf Life Saving now is to keep the beaches closed for 24 hours.”
“We’ve already had a drone up in the air to see if we could spot some sharks in the area. There were a couple of sharks spotted, whether they were the one or not, who knows,” he continued.
“We’ll … do drone missions for the next couple of days, within the Tuncurry Beach area, just to make sure there are no sharks hanging around.”
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