Bodyboarder critical after hit at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina. Attack at Lennox. Gromfest suspended…
Yeah, so, another surfer has been hit around Byron Bay, that zeitgeist-y place you to go to escape the madness of city life. All those rainbows, all that leashless longboarding, miles and miles away from Sydney’s rotten urbanity, but now rivalling Margaret River as the sharkiest joint in Australia.
Here’s the latest attack:
A 32-year-old bodyboarder, Matt Lee, was surfing with his pals at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina, around 10 when he was hit on the legs by a four-metre (close enough to 15-foot) Great White.
Pals helped him to the beach, paramedics stiffed the blood (it took ’em an hour to stabilise him), and he’s been airlifted to Gold Coast Hospital. He survived emergency surgery but remains in a serious condition.
(Who remembers a fatal attack at Lighthouse? Yeah, 2008, 16-year-old bodyboarder Peter Edmonds hit… twice.)
Back in February, Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara died when he was hit by a suspected Great White at the next beach. Out of nowhere, Tad was paddling back out when the (maybe) White hit him from below. Took off both legs. That attack happened a day after another surfer was attacked a couple of clicks up the coast at Seven Mile Beach, Lennox.
Last September, a swimmer died in waist-deep water when he was hit by a suspected Great White just near the Pass in Byron.
Today, one day after the attack at Lighthouse, a surfer was knocked off his board by a shark at Lennox Head. Uninjured, but fuck.
All beaches are now shut between Tallows and Ballina which ain’t great news for the two million or so kids at Skull Candy’s Gromfest at Lennox which has been suspended.
The Department of Primary Industries has authorised a permit for the great white, which is still hanging around (see video) to be destroyed.