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Image 1 for Shark attack at Nambucca Heads, Mid North Coast NSW

Wellington Rock at the end of the breakwall. “The Bar” breaks in the rivermouth to the right.

Image 2 for Shark attack at Nambucca Heads, Mid North Coast NSW

The rivermouth.

Shark attack at Nambucca Heads, Mid North Coast NSW

9 December 18

A surfer is in a serious condition after suffering deep lacerations to his leg in a shark attack at Nambucca Heads on the New South Wales mid north coast.

The 36-year-old was surfing at a break locals call "The Bar" — where the Nambucca River flows into the ocean — when the attack happened about 7:00am.

Witnesses say the man was just about to catch a wave when a nearby pod of dolphins came through the area and the attack occurred.

"He just disappeared," a local man watching from the shore, who did not want his name used, said. "I saw him [the attack victim] out there and was watching the pod of dolphins and the waves and my dogs and then just lost sight of him. I thought he couldn't have come in that quick."

A spokesperson for Surf Life Saving NSW, Donna Wishart, said three or four surfers were in the water at the time of the attack. The surfers dragged the man up onto the rocks of the breakwall where a long-standing member of the Nambucca Heads Surf Lifesaving Club applied a tourniquet, using his legrope.

NSW Ambulance Chief Inspector Brian Parsell said the man suffered five deep lacerations to his lower leg, and lost "a fair amount of blood" in the attack and received a blood transfusion at the scene before being airlifted to John Hunter Hospital. However, paramedics at the scene said he was calm and very "stoic" when being treated.

The helicopter crew were going to stop en route at Port Macquarie to pick up more blood products, he said. "The most important priority for this gentleman is to stabilise the bleeding, get that under control as best we can, but what we do know is he needs to be rushed to theatres on arrival at John Hunter Hospital."

A spokeswoman from the NSW Department of Primary Industries said authorities were not sure what type of shark was responsible for the attack. She said the man's injuries would be inspected to help determine the species.

Beaches in the area have been closed and extra aerial and jet ski patrols are being conducted.





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