Surfer hit at Lighthouse Beach, Port Macquarie, life-threatening injuries…
A little under two hours ago, a bodyboarder was hit by a shark at Lighthouse Beach at Port Macquarie, a five-hour drive north of Sydney.
According to police,
“About 5.10pm (Saturday 22 August 2015), a 38-year-old man was body boarding in the water with a friend about 400m south of the club house, when he was attacked by what is believed is a shark. The man was assisted out of the water and treated at the scene by Ambulance Paramedics to stomach and back injuries. All beaches in the area remain closed until further notice.”
A few weeks ago, a surfer was knocked off his board and mauled at Evans Head, a little north of Port. A week or so before that, a bodyboarder suffered serious injuries to his legs when he was hit at Ballina further north and in February the Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara died when he was attacked by a great white shark, also at Ballina.
Obviously, public opinion around those parts has shifted and “cull” isn’t seen as such a dirty word anymore. It’s instructive to compare the Gold Coast an hour north of Byron, with its shark nets and drum lines, with the NSW mid and North Coast.
Last year, 621 sharks were pulled off the lines and out of the nets: eight great whites, 251 tigers, 111 bulls and 173 whalers.
In the 53 years of netting, and with the biggest surfing population in the world, and one that’ll hit the Supa Bank in the middle of the night, there hasn’t been one fatal hit.