Shark attack: surfer dies after being mauled off Gold Coast beach – The Guardian

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A surfer has died after a shark attack on the Gold Coast with authorities saying he suffered critical leg injuries.

The Queensland ambulance service said the attack occurred at Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta about 5pm on Tuesday.

Paramedics treated the 46-year-old Gold Coast man on the beach but he could not be saved.

Queensland police said the man had suffered severe injuries to his lower leg. A police spokesman said he was taken out of the surf near the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta surf lifesaving club and treated by paramedics at the scene.

Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young told reporters that fellow surfers helped bring the man to shore but the attack was so severe “he was probably deceased” in the water.

Seven News reported the surfer’s death was the first fatal shark attack at one of the state’s netted beaches in decades. Greenmount beach has shark nets and drumlines, or baited hooks, in the water.

“[They] are used to catch sharks passing through an area that could pose a threat to beach-goers,” the fisheries department states on its website. “The equipment lowers risk but does not provide an impenetrable barrier between sharks and humans.”

The Queensland fisheries minister, Mark Furner, said Tuesday’s death was “an absolute tragedy”.

“An investigation is underway that will look at the circumstances of what has happened,” he said. “Right now our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.”

Last month, a 35-year-old woman was attacked by a great white shark at a beach near Port Macquarie in New South Wales, 400km south of Coolangatta.

Tuesday’s attack was the sixth fatality in Australian waters in 2020.

In mid-July, a teenager died while surfing at Wilsons Headland at Wooli Beach, off northern NSW. The previous weekend, a 36-year-old Sunshine Coast man died after being mauled while spearfishing off Queensland’s Fraser Island.

Gold Coast surfer Rob Pedretti, 60, died after he was attacked at Salt Beach at South Kingscliff in northern NSW in June.

A shark also killed the 23-year-old Queensland wildlife ranger, Zachary Robba, in April off North West Island in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Experienced diver Gary Johnson, 57, was killed by a shark near Cull Island in Esperance on Western Australia’s south coast in January.

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