Shark kills boy off Australian coast

A shark attacked and killed a 16-year-old boy today while he and a friend were bodyboarding off Australia's eastern coast, officials said.

Peter Edmonds was about 50 yards from shore when the shark attacked around 8am, lifeguard spokesman Stephen Leahy said.

Edmonds suffered two large bites, one to the leg and one to the body. He died of extreme blood loss while lifeguards and paramedics tried to save him.

It was the first fatal shark attack in Australia in two years.

All nearby beaches were closed as a precaution, and crews were looking for the shark in the waters off Ballina, about 400 miles north of Sydney, Leahy said.

Edmonds' bodyboarding friend, Brock Mathew, was leaving the water when he looked back and saw Edmonds "in a bit of trouble" and swam back to his friend, who he thought was trying to catch a wave.

Mathew said he saw a "big, gray shadow" pass by him as he paddled to his friend, who was by then face down in the water.

"I thought he was only joking, so I went over to him and as I flipped him over I saw his leg," said Mathew, who dragged his friend to shore and tried with lifeguards to resuscitate him.

"He didn't make one noise," Mathew said.

Edmonds' 20-year-old sister, Kylie, said her parents were numb from the sudden loss.

"They lost their baby — what more can you say? The only boy in the family," she said.

Leahy said there had been three shark alarms sounded in Ballina in recent months.

Heavy rainfall over the past two days had made the area more susceptible to attacks, because sharks congregate near river mouths to feed in rainy weather. The beach where the attack occurred is just north of the Richmond River estuary.

It wasn't known what type of shark attacked the teenager, though residents said bull sharks had been spotted in recent days.

Detective Inspector Steve Clark said Mathew would be considered for a bravery medal for going back into the water to rescue his friend despite seeing the shark nearby.

There about 15 shark attacks a year in Australian waters — one of the highest rates in the world — but on average just over one attack per year is fatal.

In January, a fisherman survived a bite by a shark he had reeled onto his boat deck. In December, a surfer was attacked by a shark at a beach north of Sydney, but his injuries were not life-threatening.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
The two faces revealed by the ultraviolet light
newsScholars left shaken after shining ultraviolet light on 500-year-old Welsh manuscript
News
Rosamund Pike played Bond girld Miranda Frost, who died in Die Another Day (PA)
news
Arts and Entertainment
books
News
newsHow do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? With people like this
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Recruitment Genius: Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat