A man has been killed in an apparent shark attack on September 9 at the popular tourist destination of Byron Bay, the most easterly point on the Australian mainland, officials say.
The 50-year-old man sustained severe injuries on his right leg at Byron Bay in New South Wales.
A swimmer brought him in to the beach but he was pronounced dead.
Beaches in the area have been closed for 24 hours and people are being warned to stay out of the water.
“At 10:45 police and paramedics were called to Main Beach after reports of a shark attack,” New South Wales police said in a statement.
The man was in the water when he was bitten by what was believed to be a shark, they said.
“He was seen floating in shallow water, close to the shore line, and dragged onto the beach. An ambulance was called and he was pronounced dead a short time later,” the statement said.
Police said the wife of the man – who has not been identified – was watching from the shore, ABC reported.
Mark Hickey said he tried to help the man.
“I saw what looked like seaweed but it was blood in the water,” he said.
“I didn’t know it was a person but when I realized, I ran out and waded to the bank and grabbed him and did CPR but it was too late.”
Mark Hickey told local media he saw a “six or seven foot” shark in the water.
Rescue organization Surf Lifesaving Australia said the beach was not supervised at the time of the attack as it had occurred a week before seasonal duties.
“But at the council’s request, lifeguards will be on duty for at least the next 24 hours ensuring the water remains clear,” it said in a statement.
There have been several shark attacks off Australia’s beaches in recent years.
In April, a woman was killed as she swam off Tathra beach, also in New South Wales.
The Western Australia government, meanwhile, has ordered a cull of sharks, following at least six fatal attacks off the state’s beaches in three years.
Baited hooks have been installed off Perth’s popular beaches. Any shark more than three metres long – which could include Great White, Tiger and Bull sharks – will be shot.
The controversial move prompted thousands of people to take part in protests against the culls.
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