Surfer Drives Himself To Hospital After Shark Attack In Northern NSW

Man fends off shark with surfboard

Article heading image for Surfer Drives Himself To Hospital After Shark Attack In Northern NSW

A man has used his surfboard to fight off a shark in northern New South Wales.

The 43-year-old surfer was attacked by a five-foot shark off Shelly Beach at Ballina around 7am on Wednesday, suffering a 20cm gash to his leg.

He managed to get out of the water, wrap his leg in a towel and drive himself to the local hospital.

He was later transferred to Lismore Hospital for treatment.

All beaches in the area were closed after the attack, and would remain off limits for 24 hours.

Donna Wishart from Surf Life Saving NSW said drones were deployed shortly after the attack.

"They're getting the drones up in the air straight away to see if they can see if there are any hazards remaining in the area."

The attack comes less than 48 hours after a 33-year-old man was killed by a shark in the Whitsundays in Queensland, and three years after a Japanese tourist was killed by a shark off the very same beach at Ballina.

Ballina Mayor David Wright said this time emergency services were ready to respond.

"Unlucky that he was attacked, but lucky that everyone was prepared for this sort of thing after a few years ago, and we've got surf life saving and police and everyone here and we're going to have jet skis out and smart drumlines are out," he said. 

6 November 2018

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