Shark attack - Ballina, NSW
News from Ballina today - a 32 year old man was attacked by a shark while bodyboarding at the popular Lighthouse Beach around 10am this morning.
The man was flown to Gold Coast Hospital after suffering significant leg injuries.
Apparently a 4 metre shark was seen from the air and other reports surfaced that it was a Great White, but this hasn't been confirmed.
At 1.45pm Channel 9 posted an image of a shark spotted in the area to their Twitter feed.
The beaches in the Ballina Shire are closed for the next 24 hours and lifeguards will be patrolling the waters. Our thoughts are with this man, his family and friends.
Photo: David Clark
Sadly, this isn’t the first shark encounter in the area. Surfer Tadashi Nakahara passed away in February this year after being bitten by a shark at nearby Shelly Beach.
Since the beginning of 2012 there have been 17 reported unprovoked attacks in New South Wales, 5 in Queensland, 8 in Western Australia and 3 in Victoria.
As a surfer it’s normal to push the thoughts of sharks to the back of your mind while surfing, but are shark encounters on the increase?
Dr Mark Meekan from the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Perth says “our fear is very much disproportionate to the threat they pose”.
To read what the scientists have to say, check out this article from Australian Geographic ‘Are shark attacks increasing’?