A beachcam video shows the terrifying moment when a surfer was fatally attacked by a shark that left tooth and jaw marks on his board.
Nick Slater, 46, was dragged to shore by other surfers after the harrowing incident at Greenmount Beach, in Coolangatta, Queensland, on Tuesday evening local time.
A large tiger shark was then captured in nearby nets while further investigations were underway to determine if it is the shark responsible for the attack, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Swimmers and surfers are urged not to enter the water from Burleigh to the New South Wales border until further notice – with the attack the first shark death in the area in more than 60 years.
The next morning, lifeguards on jet skis and a helicopter went down the coast in search of the shark.
Mr. Slater – who was attacked around 5 p.m. – suffered serious leg wounds and died on the beach, despite the best efforts of the first responders.
The footage of the attack and subsequent rescue was captured by a surf camera mounted on the popular beach.
A man who was nearby in the water reported it 9 News his attention was first drawn to a large group of seagulls which he described as “unusual”.
“Suddenly I heard this lady scream,” he added.
Surfer Leo Cabral was filming his son, 13, when he “heard people shout ‘shark, shark, shark,’ he told the news channel.
“I looked around and thought it might be a dolphin. I looked back at my son and with my camera I zoomed in next to him to his left and I saw a plank and the man was in the water.”
Referring to Mr. Slater, Ms. Palaszczuk said, “I offer my deepest condolences to the friends and family of the man so tragically taken.”
Gold Coast Mayor Thomas Tate confirmed it was the first deadly assault in the area since 1958.
He added that it was a “devastating shock to the community”.
The last shark attack on the Gold Coast was in 2012 when a 20-year-old surfer was bitten off Nobby Beach, further north of Coolangatta, but it survived.
Tuesday’s incident has revived the debate over the effectiveness of shark safety nets and drum lines.