Australia shark attack: Surfer ‘mauled to death’ on Gold Coast

Australia shark attack: Surfer ‘mauled to death’ on Gold Coast

Attacks marks first fatality caused by shark on Gold Coast beaches since 1958

Kate Ng
Wednesday 09 September 2020 07:29

A man has died after being mauled by a shark at a netted beach in Australia.

The swimmer, believed to be in his 50s, was bitten on the leg just off Greenmount Beach in Coolangatta.

The attack happened just after 5pm local time and the man died shortly after. Queensland Ambulance Service attended the scene.

Beaches both north and south of Greenmount Beach were immediately closed after the attack. Beaches further out on the Gold Coast are expected to stay closed on Wednesday.

Witnesses told local broadcaster 9News that bystanders and lifeguards rushed into the water to try and help the man, but he succumbed to his injuries later.

Paramedics are working to evacuate the waters and a police helicopter is conducting an aerial search for any sign of the shark.

Shark attacks are uncommon, with the last shark attack on the Gold Coast taking place in 2012, when a 20-year-old surfer was bitten in the waters off Nobby Beach.

Tuesday’s attack is the first fatal shark attack to occur on a Gold Coast beach in over 60 years, since the death of Peter Gerard Spronk at Surfers Paradise Beach in 1958.

Greenmount Beach is protected by shark control equipment including shark nets, but Queensland’s Department of Agriculture and Fisheries shark net program website warns nets do “not provide an impenetrable barrier between sharks and humans”.

The nets are intended to catch "resident sharks” and sharks that pass through the area while feeding on fish bait, but do not prevent them from entering any particular area, said the website.

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