Shark Attack At Ballina This Morning
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17-year-old Cooper Allen has been attacked by a shark at Ballina's Lighthouse Beach this morning just before 9am. The surfer suffered lacerations to the right side of his body and has been taken to Ballina hospital.
Surf Life Saving has issued a statement on their first day of the season, "The Australian Lifeguard service has closed all beaches in the local shire. All of the beach at Lennox Head, Sharps, Shelly Beach and Lighthouse Beach will all be closed for at least 24 hours. The DPI helicopter is monitoring the area and jet skis and all other available lifesaving assets are assisting where they can."
Helen Cameron witnessed the attack this morning and said, "It was just as the lifeguards were setting up the flags and all of a sudden there were these guys coming out of the water waving their arms for attention before lying down on the beach. There were so many people that stayed in the water surfing for at least 10 minutes before coming in. It was 2-3 minutes before lifeguards reached the surfer to assist and the police and paramedics arrived within 10 minutes before he was stretchered up to the surf club and treated there. The surfer was able to talk to the paramedics."
The species of shark involved in the incident is not yet known and DPI scientists will investigate further.
This is the first shark attack in the Northern NSW area in just over a year after a speight of attacks between the Queensland border and Port Macquarie. In November 2015, Sam Morgan was attacked by a shark whilst surfing at dusk at Lighthouse Beach (Ballina North Wall). Morgan suffered severe lacerations to his body and his since recovered. In 2015 there were 14 shark attacks in NSW alone.
This attack comes just weeks after the NSW DPI cancelled the installation of the shark barrier trial at Ballina North Wall as part of their $16million Shark Mitigation Strategy.
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