Surfer fends off shark that bit his leg at Australian beach

Blanche Robertson
November 9, 2018

Surfers are again on high alert after one of their own used his board to fight off a shark that was attacking him in waters off Ballina on the NSW north coast.

It's believed that the 43-year-old was mauled by the predator around 07:00 (AEDT) at Shelly Beach in the township of Ballina.

"We need to now have the scientific background and investigation of what is causing this sudden spike of attacks and interactions with sharks".

It was only when he staggered ashore that he noticed the lacerations to his thigh.

He remains at Lismore Hospital in a stable condition but could be released as early as Thursday.

"He came onshore, wrapped his leg up and went to Ballina hospital".

The Surf Lifesaving duty officer in the region, Jimmy Keogh, said beaches in the area would be closed for 24 hours, at the request of police.

Ballina Mayor David Wright, who is on scene at Shelly Beach, said a 42-year-old man from East Ballina was surfing when he was attacked by a shark.

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"Daniel was a great surgeon, son, brother and friend, who dedicated his life to helping others", the Christidis family said in a statement.

NSW Surf Life Saving is using drones, jet boats and jet skis to survey the area. "He used the board to belt the shark away", Wright told Sydney radio station 2GB.

The initial attack caused an eight-inch cut on his calf.

"He said he tried to hit the shark with board".

"It's one of those unfortunate things".

The latest encounter comes after a swimmer died late Monday following a shark attack in the Whitsunday islands off Queensland state - the third such incident in two months at the tourist site.

Tasmanian woman Justine Barwick and 12-year-old Melbourne girl Hannah Papps survived after being bitten on consecutive days in September.

Despite the injury, the surfer was able to scare the shark with Board to get to shore, where he was given first aid and taken to hospital. "We simply do not know why this is occurring and what is responsible for it", Gschwind said.

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