breaking - shark attack death in Australia
Updated 1 and 2 and 3 (friends account) Update 4 - likely shark:
A 16-year-old boy has been killed by a shark on the New South Wales (Australia) north coast less than an hour ago.
Reports are that he was bitten on the leg while surfing.
He was dead by the time paramedics arrived.
No further details at this point
The teenager was attacked while bodyboarding with a friend, and suffered several shark bites to his leg and body. Despite the efforts of his friend and lifeguards on duty at the beach, he died at the scene.
The beach has been closed.(sbs news)
Other news sources indicate one large bite to the leg and one large bite to the body.
My own research experience causes me to comment that this is unusual in shark attacks where generally a fin scrape or single bite is the result. This potentially increases the future danger from this particular shark.
The north coast of NSW is popular with surfers. It also has several large rivers emptying into the sea, and the attach took place at the mouth of one of those rivers.
The beaches in the region are not protected by shark netting, and shark sightings are common.
The attack took place on the northne side of the river mouth at Ballina
SHARK attacks have killed 11 people over the past 50 years in Australia, according to the Shark Research Institute of Australia.
But while Australia is the second most likely country to witness a shark attack, after the United States, most attacks remain rare and not fatal.
In 2007, fatal shark attacks worldwide fell to their lowest levels in two decades, a report found.
According to the International Shark Attack File, produced by the University of Florida, there was just one recorded fatal shark attack in 2007 involving a swimmer in the South Pacific.
In Australia, 12 attacks were recorded that year, up from seven in 2006.
The last fatal shark attack in Australia was in January, 2006, when a woman was killed after being attacked by a shark off Amity Beach, on North Stradbroke Island in Queensland, according to Australia's Shark Research Institute. (source news.com.au)
A teenager has told lifeguards how the sea filled with blood when his 16-year-old friend was killed by a shark on the New South Wales north coast this morning.
He says he saw a large, dark object in the water at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach just before his friend was bitten by a shark on his leg about 8:15am (AEST).
He has told lifeguards he paddled over and dragged the victim to shore from the popular North Wall surf break, just north of the Richmond River's mouth, before calling 000. (source: abc.net.au)
Manager of life sciences at Sydney's Taronga Zoo, John West, said today recent rain on the NSW North Coast would have resulted in an increase in shark numbers in the area. "If there's a lot of fresh water around, and it probably sounds as if there was, the animal's more likely to be a bull shark, because bull sharks are able to move up into fresh water, whereas the white pointers and tigers and other whalers don't."