A man was killed after a shark tore off his legs while he was surfing off Australia’s east coast, not far from the area where another surfer was mauled by a shark a day earlier.
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 Mr 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 12 miles south of Seven Mile Beach, where 35-year-old surfer Jabez Reitman was attacked yesterday.
“I just freaked out,” he told reporters as he was carried from an ambulance at a hospital.
“I thought it was a dolphin at first until I started feeling and realized it was pretty significant lacerations.”
Mr Reitman was surfing off Seven Mile Beach, near the tourist town of Byron Bay, when he was bitten by what he described as a 7-to-10ft shark.
“I should’ve stayed in bed,” he said of his decision to go surfing.
Mr Reitman was later transferred from Byron Bay to Gold Coast University Hospital, which reported his condition as stable.
Mr Wright said he suspected both attacks were linked, given their similarity and proximity. But he said locals, though sombre, were taking them in their stride.
“It’s just an accident,” he said.
In September, a 50-year-old swimmer was killed by a shark at Byron Bay.
Sharks are common off Australia’s beaches, but fatal attacks are rare – the country has averaged fewer than two deadly attacks per year in recent decades.