Three sharks have been caught near a netted Gold Coast beach where a surfer was mauled to death, as investigations into the attack continue.
Nick Slater, a 46-year-old real estate agent, was fatally bitten on the leg while surfing at Greenmount Beach at about 5pm on Tuesday.
His death is only the second fatal shark attack at one of Queensland’s beaches that have been protected by nets and drumlines since 1962, the state government said.
But it has now been revealed the 57km coastline is only protected by 2km of nets, causing fears beachgoers are not as safe in the water as they once thought.
Early analysis of a tooth lodged in Mr Slater’s longboard has suggested the 46-year-old was killed by a 3.5m great white shark.
Longboard rider Nick Slater, 46, was mauled to death by a shark on the Gold Coast on Tuesday
The tooth left embedded in Mr Slater’s surfboard has been taken away for analysis to find out what kind of shark attacked him
An investigation will also try to uncover whether a dead tiger shark caught in a net off the Gold Coast beach is the same one that attacked the popular estate agent
A photo of the tooth has been released by the Department of Fisheries, revealing it was 45mm long and 30mm wide.
Queensland Fisheries said two sharks were caught on a drumline and in a shark net near Greenmount Beach in the hours after the attack.
‘There was a 3.3 metre tiger shark alive on a Shark Control Program drumline at North Kirra,’ a spokesman said in a statement.
A two-metre tiger shark was found in a net a Currumbin.
Both animals were euthanised and disposed of offshore.
‘Further investigations will be conducted to discover if there is any link between it and the fatal attack,’ Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament on Wednesday.
On Thursday morning, a third shark was reportedly pulled from drumlines at Greenmount Beach.
There are 27 shark nets at Queensland beaches, along with almost 400 baited drumlines, The Courier-Mail reported.
Documentary director Andre Borell slammed the state’s shark net program, which has been relied on for more than 60 years.
‘It’s totally unacceptable that our government continue to use safety measures from 1962 that have no scientific backing whatsoever,’ he said.
Mr Borell said using drone technology and netted swimming enclosures would be a more effective safety measure.
Before nets were put in place, the last fatal shark attack off a Gold Coast beach was in 1958.
Surf cameras captured the moment Mr Slater was killed by a great white shark at a netted Gold Coast beach in the first fatal attack in the region since 1958
Pictured: Mr Slater was was a real estate agent who lived in Miami on the Gold Coast
Mourners descended on Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning to pay their respects to Mr Slater.
A Westpac Lifesaver Rescue helicopter was circling in the area after first light looking for sharks.
Beaches from Burleigh to Snapper Rocks were closed on Wednesday as lifeguards patrolled the waters on jet skis.
The City of Gold Coast moved to reopen the beaches on Thursday.
‘City lifeguards have advised that Gold Coast beaches will reopen this morning but surveillance by chopper, drone and lifeguards will continue until the weekend,’ the City of Gold Coast said.
‘We advise all beachgoers to exercise extreme caution with baitfish in the water.’
Thomas Richard Tate, Mayor of the Gold Coast, offered his condolences to Mr Slater’s family on Wednesday morning.
‘Last time we’ve had a shark attack is 1958, over 60 years ago,’ he told Today.
‘It doesn’t matter how long it has been, still a devastating shock to the community of the Gold Coast.’
The mayor said the beaches would remain closed until it is determined the shark is no longer in the vicinity.
Mr Slater is assisted by fellow surfers and beachgoers after he was bitten by a shark on Tuesday
Two women hug at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning, following the death of a surfer
Coastalwatch footage captured the moment a surfer brought the injured man to shore with the help of other beachgoers
Pictured: Lifeguards on jet skis search the water at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday
Mr Tate said the shark attack was a reminder to all beachgoers to ‘look after your mates’.
‘I mean really it brings to reality, when we go off the land we go into water, it is the shark’s domain,’ he said.
Footage from a Swellnet surf camera shows Mr Slater sitting in the water at the end of the line-up before the shark grabs him and pulls him under.
Water can be seen splashing around before the black silhouette of the shark swims away.
Some surfers just metres away seem oblivious to what is happening.
Mr Slater is then seen floating face down in the water before fellow board-riders drag him to shore.
The bite stretched from his upper thigh to his knee and a tooth from the predator remained lodged in his longboard.
A man walks along a boardwalk as Greenmount Beach is closed on Wednesday morning
Two surfers are seen walking near a ‘danger’ sign on Wednesday morning as beaches are shut from Burleigh to Snapper Rocks
Greenmount Beach will remain closed until it’s determined there are no longer sharks in the area
Coastalwatch footage showed the moment directly after the attack, when a surfer paddled the victim to shore with the help of other beachgoers.
Lifeguards were seen waiting on the sand before frantically working to treat the severe injury.
The water was evacuated as lifeguards attempted to save the victim.
Emergency crews rushed to the popular tourist spot but the real estate agent could not be saved.
Mr Slater, who was surfing alone, was pronounced dead minutes after they arrived.
Family and friends have flooded social media with tributes to Mr Slater, who has been described as an avid adventurer.
‘I’ll never forget the look on Dave’s face as we found your car last night alone in the car park, confirmation of our worst nightmare,’ Mr Slater’s good friend Jasmine Robson wrote online.
‘Expecting you to be back in an hour after catching a few waves.’
Mr Slater’s Instagram page showed a life full of adventure, with most of his pictures captured in the ocean.
‘Just give me sunshine through the autumn, sweet snow to the spring,’ a caption on one of the images said.
Greenmount Beach was closed on Wednesday morning after a surfer was mauled by a shark on Tuesday
Greenmount Beach, located near the Queensland-New South Wales border, has shark control equipment surrounding it including nets
Surfer Jade Parker told 7News he first spotted a school of fish and up to 30 birds near the victim, which is what attracted the shark to the surfer.
He had been walking along the footpath near a lookout when he noticed some commotion in the water.
‘There were four or five people yelling and pointing at the water, and I looked out to where they were pointing and I spotted a board floating and a body was next to it,’ he said.
Mr Parker just assumed the surfer had been knocked out because he wasn’t moving so he ran down to the beach and swam to the victim, who was in waist deep water.
‘There were about three on the scene before me and they were all trying to drag him in with the board he had. I helped drag him into the beach as well.’
Surfer Jade Parker told 7News he first spotted a school of fish and up to 30 birds near the victim, which is what attracted the shark to the surfer
Two lifeguard vans are pulled up on the sand of Greenmount Beach as the sun rises on Wednesday morning
When they arrived on the sand lifeguards were waiting with a stretcher but Mr Parker said he was ‘pretty much gone’ by the time they arrived.
Mr Parker said the injury stretched from the ‘groin area to just below his knee’.
‘It was pretty much all taken… there was nothing there, it was just hanging there by not much,’ he said.
‘Honestly, I do not want to get to the gory parts but he was in a bad way. He was not conscious. It looked like he had already pretty much passed away at that point in time.’
Mr Parker added that the attack would not put him off surfing.
‘I know the sharks are always out there so I will just have to accept that fate,’ he said.
A woman sits on a rock and looks out to the water at Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning
A sign at Greenmount Beach alerts swimmers and surfers that the beach is closed on Wednesday
A man walks past a sign declaring Greenmount Beach is closed on Wednesday morning
A lifeguard vehicle is seen parked on the sand as surfers leave Greenmount Beach on Wednesday morning