Surfer bitten in reported Australian shark attack

2015-11-10 12:18


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Sydney - A surfer suffered serious injuries to his leg on Tuesday after reportedly being mauled by a shark in the latest attack off Australia's east coast this year.

The 20-year-old man was surfing off Lighthouse Beach in the Ballina region, a popular spot about 740km north of Sydney, when he was bitten on his left thigh on Tuesday evening, New South Wales state police said.

He was able to swim back to the shore by himself before he was taken by paramedics to a nearby hospital in a serious but stable condition, police added, saying the beach would be closed for 24 hours.

A Japanese surfer was killed in February, while a surfer and a body-boarder were seriously injured in separate attacks in Ballina in July.

Before the latest reported mauling on Tuesday, there were a total of 13 attacks in the state so far this year compared to three in 2014, according to Sydney's Taronga Zoo's shark attack file.

The spate of attacks as well as numerous shark sightings in the region prompted the New South Wales state government to launch a new five-year programme to monitor sharks off its beaches.

The plan will include drones circling popular swimming spots and the deployment of next-generation sonar systems.

The state, which has ruled out culling the animals as an option, hosted a forum involving some of the world's leading shark experts in September to explore various ways of reducing attacks.

Experts say attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and bait fish move closer to shore, however, fatalities remain rare.

Read more on:    australia

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