A 3-foot-tall white shark has killed a surfer in northern New South Wales, police in the Australian state said.
The shark bites the surfers legs, aged 50 to 60, out of Kingscliff, 800km north of Sydney.
This is the third fatal shark attack in Australian waters this year.
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The Sydney Morning Herald said that although police officers were deployed to find the shark, they were unable to kill it and it left the area after several hours.
Police are allowed to kill sharks if they are considered a threat to human life, but no shots were fired in this case.
The attack took place at Salt Beach around 10am local time on Sunday (midnight GMT Saturday). The shark bit the man’s thighs, then circled those who came to his aid, and reportedly hit one of their boards.
The surfer, who the Herald said was from the Gold Coast, died around 10:40 p.m.
“He was given first aid for serious injuries to his left leg but died on the spot,” a police statement said.
Paramedic Terry Savage praised the men who brought the surfer ashore, saying: “It was nothing short of heroic to get him to the beach.
“Unfortunately, there was nothing else we could do,” he told ABC.
People were ordered out of the water with jet skis that used to bring some in.
Salt Surf Life Saving Club member James Owen told the Herald: “It’s a bit of a shock to everyone at the moment. There’s a very dark mood here. I don’t know of a previous fatal shark incident in this area.”
White sharks are said to be active in the area at this time of year.
This is the third mortality from shark attacks this year.
In April, a 23-year-old Queensland ranger killed in an attack on the Great Barrier Reef.
In January, a 57-year-old diver was killed off western Australia.
No deaths were recorded last year.
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