The 41-year-old Japanese national was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when the shark came up behind him and grabbed the back of the board and the man’s legs in its mouth.
The man’s friends, who had been surfing alongside him, rushed him to shore, where they tried to stop the bleeding with tourniquets and performed CPR.
“But because both legs were gone, he bled to death very quickly,” said David Wright, mayor of the New South Wales town of Ballina, where the attack occurred
Officials have not released the man’s name, but Wright said he had been living in the area and worked at a local surf shop and as a cleaner at a hotel.
Shelly Beach, the site of the attack, was closed, along with a larger stretch of coastline as officials searched for the shark.
Ballina is just 20km south of Seven Mile Beach, where 35-year-old surfer Jabez Reitman was attacked on Saturday. He was surfing off Seven Mile Beach, near the tourist town of Byron Bay, when he was bitten by what he described as a 7ft-10ft shark.