Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

Surfer killed by shark on Australia's Gold Coast

It was the first fatal shark attack on the beach in 62 years

Beaches remain closed after a surfer died in a shark attack at Greenmount beach on Tuesday evening.  Getty 
Beaches remain closed after a surfer died in a shark attack at Greenmount beach on Tuesday evening.  Getty 

An Australian surfer died after being attacked by a shark on a popular Gold Coast beach, the first fatal shark attack on the beach in 62 years and despite protective "shark nets" and drumlines offshore.

Nick Slater, 46, was attacked at Greenmount Beach late on Tuesday while surfing what is called the "Superbank", one of the world's best and most crowded waves and site for an annual world surfing championship contest.

His death is only the second fatal shark attack at one of Queensland’s 85 beaches that have been protected by nets and drum lines since as early as 1962, the state government said.

The first was a 21-year-old swimmer who was mauled by more than one bull shark off a netted beach on North Stradbroke Island, north of the Gold Coast, in 2006.

Video of the attack from a beach surf camera showed dozens of other surfers in the water at the time. There can often be hundreds in the water as the break is regarded as one of the safest in Australia.

Other surfers took the man to shore, where he was treated for severe leg injuries, footage from local media showed.

"About 5pm the man was pulled from the surf suffering from a life-threatening leg injury. The man succumbed to his injuries at the scene," Queensland state police said.

Beaches along the tourist strip Gold Coast have been closed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday said a large tiger shark was trapped in safety nets off the beach, but it was unclear what type of shark was involved in the attack.

Specially designed "shark nets" are placed in the waters off many popular Australian beaches, which reduces the chance of a shark attack but they do not create a total barrier between swimmers and sharks.

Flowers are seen tied to the handrail at Greenmount headland in Coolangatta, Australia. Getty Images
Flowers are seen tied to the handrail at Greenmount headland in Coolangatta, Australia. Getty Images

Some beaches also have drumlines, which bait sharks with the aim of releasing them offshore.

Australia's east coast has had a number of Great White Shark attacks in recent months.

There have been a total of 19 shark attacks in 2020, according to data published by the Taronga Conservation Society.

Updated: September 9, 2020 10:58 AM

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