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Shark Attack Victim Tried 'to Warn Others'

Australia victim is first in country since November
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 18, 2021 10:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – A surfer was killed by a shark on Tuesday off the east coast of Australia, police said. The man, said to be in his 50s, had been surfing off Forster, 190 miles north of Sydney, when he was attacked late in the morning, a police statement said. Onlookers pulled the man from the water suffering critical injuries to his upper right thigh, reports the AP. "It's believed that when the attack occurred the man did actually see the shark and called out to try and warn others and, very heroically, his friends were able to bring him back in to shore after he had been attacked," Police Superintendent Christopher Schilt said, per the Australian Broadcasting Corp. The Ambulance Service said the man couldn't be resuscitated despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene. Forster beaches have been closed, and police say they're working with government authorities to identify the species of shark. A bite analysis suggests a 15-foot great white shark was likely involved.

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Brian Wilcox, president of Lower North Coast Branch—Surf Life Saving, said a drone search after the attack had spotted two sharks in the area. "It's pretty unprecedented. I can't recall ever having a shark attack in this area," Wilcox told ABC. "We'll ... do drone missions for the next couple of days, within the Tuncurry Beach area, just to make sure there are no sharks hanging around," Wilcox added, referring to the beach where the surfer was attacked. The man’s name hasn't been released. It was the first fatal shark attack in Australia since November, when a 55-year-old surfer was mauled near the northwest town of Broome.

(Read more shark attack stories.)

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