A surfer died on Sunday after being bitten by a shark off Shelly and Emerald beaches on Australia’s east coast, paramedics said.
The man, believed to be in his 20s, died at the scene after a “significant” injury to his arm, New South Wales (NSW) Ambulance said.
Paramedics, including critical care specialists aboard the Westpac Rescue Helicopter, rushed to the beach in Coffs Harbour, about 530 kilometres north of Sydney, shortly before 11 a.m.
“It was incredibly devastating for everyone involved on the beach today. A number of local surfers and bystanders came to the aid of this man,” said NSW Ambulance inspector Chris Wilson. “Despite the best efforts of bystanders, paramedics and other emergency services, the patient couldn’t be revived.”
The attack came as a shock to locals who were enjoying a day of sun and sand while celebrating Father’s Day, witnesses told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
“Yeah, it will change the fabric a little bit for a little while in EB (Emerald Beach), that’s for sure,” surfer Aaron Armstrong told ABC.
Having lived in the area for over 20 years, he said it was the first attack he’s aware of at the beach.
A number of Coffs Harbour beaches will be closed for the next 48 hours, police said.