12-foot white shark spotted at Lighthouse Beach shortly after encounter
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 25 September, 2016 - A teenage surfer has been attacked by a suspected great white shark at Lighthouse Beach in Ballina, New South Wales Australia.
17-year-old Cooper Allen was surfing with friends when the shark, estimated to be about 12 feet in length, bit down on Allen’s hip. He was treated at the scene and then rushed off to Lismore Base Hospital.
"[The victim] received lacerations and bite marks to his upper-thigh area, he was assisted into the shore and off-duty nurses treated him," Richmond Police Inspector Nicole Bruce told ABC.Net. "We've got the surfboard and the bite marks will be analysed by the DPI [the Department of Primary Industries].
Surf Life Saving NSW Jetski patrol © NSW SharkSmart
Surf Life Saving New South Wales reported that lifeguards on jet skis chased the shark away from the shore after the attack and are currently conducting roving patrols. A NSW Department of Primary Industries Helicopter has been deployed to the area as well. Lennox Head, Sharpes Beach, Shelly Beach (Ballina), Lighthouse Beach have all been closed for at least the next 24 hours.
The species of shark involved in the incident has not been confirmed and DPI scientists will investigate, but many suspect it was a great white.
ABC.Net reports that Cooper told News Corp earlier this year he thought the barriers were a waste of money and surfers risked shark attacks whenever they went into the water.
The stretch of coast along Ballina has had heaps of trouble this year after a series of shark attacks last year. The Australian government funded $16million to deal with the problem. Part of the solution package was a series of nets along Lighthouse Beach in Ballina.
The eco-nets project was scrapped in August after rough seas damaged the nets.