A surfer in Australia reportedly died Tuesday after a shark attack off the Greenmount Beach tourist strip near the city of Gold Coast with authorities saying he succumbed to fatal leg injuries.
The Queensland ambulance service said in a tweet that paramedics were on the scene after 5pm at Greenmount Beach in the Gold Coast suburb of Coolangatta. Gold Coast chief lifeguard Warren Young told reporters that the attack was severe enough that the 46-year-old man “was probably deceased” in the water by the time help arrived, the Guardian reported.
— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) September 8, 2020
“I spotted a board floating in the line up, and a body was next to it,” beach-goer and witness Jade Parker told 7News. “I just presumed he might have got knocked out, because he wasn’t moving in the water. I ran down to the beach, dropped my board and sort of trudged through the line up to get to him.”
Parker also told local news that “there were probably about three other people in the water trying to pull him in” but added that the man was “pretty much already gone” by the time he was brought ashore. (RELATED: Coast Guardsman Opens Fire On Mako Shark: ‘I Wasn’t Willing To Risk The Lives Of My Shipmates’)
A man has died in the first fatal shark attack on the GC in more than 60 years. 7NEWS spoke with one of the men who tried to bring him into shore. “I ran down to the beach, dropped by board, sort of trudged through the line-up to get to him.” https://t.co/DGEFxQcf41 #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/2DEI9URIr6
— 7NEWS Sunshine Coast (@7NewsSC) September 8, 2020
Queensland agriculture and fisheries minister Mark Furner called Tuesday’s death an “absolute tragedy” in a statement, the Guardian reported. “An investigation is underway that will look at the circumstances of what has happened,” he said. “Right now our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.”
Greenmount Beach and other prominent beaches in the state of Queensland are protected by shark control equipment, according to the state’s agriculture and fisheries website. Equipment used includes nets and baited hooks to prevent attacks.
The death is the city of Gold Coast’s first in decades and only the second fatal shark attack in the area since the shark control equipment was first set up in 1962, CBS News reported.