Surfers who helped a 20-year-old woman from the water after she was mauled by a shark off the NSW mid-north coast said the animal appeared to be a great white.
Surfers who helped a 20-year-old woman from the water after she was mauled by a shark off the NSW mid-north coast said the animal appeared to be a great white.

Surfer jumps on great white free victim in terrifying attack

A brave surfer jumped on a great white and repeatedly punched it until it released a woman's leg in a terrifying shark attack on the NSW mid north coast.

A 35-year-old woman was pulled from the water by fellow surfers after she was mauled by the two-three metre juvenile white shark while surfing off Port Macquarie

Emergency services were called to the north end of Shelly Beach about 9.30am.

Peter Lorimer

NSW Ambulance duty operations manager Andrew Beverley said it was the third shark attack on the north coast recently.

"The patient suffered severe lacerations to her right leg," Mr Beverley said.

"The bystanders on scene that rendered assistance should be commended. They did an amazing job before we arrived."

Surf Life Saving NSW chief executive officer Steven Pearce said surfers had come to her assistance and helped her to shore.

Mr Pearce said a surfer who witnessed the attack bashed the shark repeatedly in the head until it released the woman's leg.

"The shark would not release her so a surfer literally jumped on its back and hit it to release," Mr Pearce said.

"Our thoughts go to the young lady. It's absolutely terrifying to be involved in such an incident," he said.

"I absolutely commend the bravery of the surfers who assisted her. Witnesses said it was a (great) white shark, but that's unconfirmed. The Department of Primary Industries will analyse the bite marks to confirm that."

Mr Pearce said SMART drum lines were off Port Macquarie beach, with listening devices alerting authorities to tagged sharks if they swam in the area.

"This year there has been a high prevalence of shark encounters," he said.

"We don't know at this point whether the shark was tagged or not."

The woman was transferred to Port Macquarie Base Hospital and remains in a stable condition with serious lower leg injuries.

Big Surf
Big Surf

Mr Pearce said lifesavers would search the waters with jet skis and drones.

"We'll see if the shark is still in the vicinity," he said.

"They were on call this morning, but not on duty because the swimming season hasn't started. But they got to the scene quickly."

Mr Pearce, a surfer himself, said beachgoers must be "shark smart".

"Everyone has to accept we enter the domain of any sea creatures. We have to be shark smart," he said.

"Realistically we shouldn't be surfing at dusk or at dawn. But most attacks we've seen this year have been at all times of the day, so it's difficult."

Surf Lifesavers and lifeguards have closed beaches in the Port Macquarie area after a woman was attacked by a shark at 9.30am this morning.
Surf Lifesavers and lifeguards have closed beaches in the Port Macquarie area after a woman was attacked by a shark at 9.30am this morning.

Lifeguards have closed Flynns Beach, Town Beach, Nobbys Beach, Tacking Point and Shelly Beach and will remain closed until Port Macquarie-Hastings Council decides to reopen them.

This upcoming summer season, there would be a "heightened vigilance" in shark surveillance across NSW, starting in September.

"We've earmarked 40 locations where drones will be deployed to monitor the waters. The drones give us a greater aerial observation," Mr Pearce said.

"The drones will be piloted by 400 lifesavers. The surveillance will work in conjunction with SMART drum lines."

This time of year sees great white sharks moving up the NSW coast, following the winter migration of humpback whales.

Shark attacks have doubled over the past two decades and 2020 is shaping up as a horror year with five fatalities so far.

Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was ­attacked as he surfed with his mates at Wilsons Headland near Wooli Beach, just ­before 2.30pm on July 11.

Mani, from nearby Minnie Water, died on the sand from injuries to his legs after he was brought to shore, despite desperate efforts to revive him.

 

 

The weather was clear and the surf was small at the time of the attack with waves of only half a metre. The ocean water temp was an inviting 20C.

This time of year sees great white sharks moving up the NSW coast, following the winter migration of humpback whales.

Shark attacks have doubled over the past two decades and 2020 is shaping up as a horror year with five fatalities so far.

Mani Hart-Deville, 15, was ­attacked as he surfed with his mates at Wilsons Headland near Wooli Beach, just ­before 2.30pm on July 11.

Mani, from nearby Minnie Water, died on the sand from injuries to his legs after he was brought to shore, despite desperate efforts to revive him.

More to come.

Originally published as Woman, 20, attacked by shark on mid north coast


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