Australian Shark Attack Victim Dies After Serious Leg Bite In Byron Bay

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Animal Rights Activists Gather to Denounce Controversial Programme to Cull Sharks Off Coast of Western Australia.
Animal rights activists gather to denounce controversial programme to cull sharks off coast of Western Australia. February 1, 2014. REUTERS/Julie Noce

A man has died after he was attacked by a shark while swimming in Byron Bay in New South Wales. According to local reports and witnesses, the man's right leg was bitten by the shark at the southern part of the main beach.

A spokesperson for NSW Ambulance said the man had died on Clarkes Beach, following the attack. After witnesses of the incident called emergency responders, the spokeswoman claimed the doctor had done everything he could for the man, but his leg had a "very serious bite." The man succumbed to his injury and died. He was pronounced dead soon after.

In a report by the Daily Mail, a man who was paddle boarding saw the shark attack victim in the water and pulled him to shore. The surfer said he saw something float in the water and thought it was a turtle when he was about 20 metres away.

When he got a bit closer, he realised there was blood in the water with a two-metre shark moving around. The man realised he was looking at a victim of a shark attack. He ran out and grabbed the man toward the shore.

The NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said paramedics and a rescue helicopter were sent to the scene. An employee working at the Byron Bay Beach Café said he did see anything from his location, but he saw the helicopter flying overhead.

Reports said an unidentified witness revealed there was no alarm sounded after the shark attack victim was pulled from the water. He noticed many surfers had remained in the water after the incident.

According to the police who responded to the incident, family members had already identified the victim. Authorities believe he was trying to swim toward the main beach of Byron Bay when he was attacked by a shark.

Speaking for Surf Life Saving NSW, Donna Wishart said there was no supervisor at the time of the shark attack. She added that the beach will now be closed for 24 hours since it is a standard operating procedure following an incident involving sharks. Wishart gave assurances that the group will "monitor waterways" to determine other potential hazards.

In recent years, there have been several shark attacks reported off Australia's beaches. The Western Australia government had implemented a shark cull following six fatal attacks in three years, reports said. The move has sparked protests from shark conservationists who claim that the state government's plan does not reduce the number of shark attacks.

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