Man attacked by shark at Iluka

10th September 2017 12:15 PM
UPDATED 12:57 PM
Amber Hopkins | Facebook

UPDATE, 1.40PM: POLICE have confirmed Main and Bluff beaches remain closed as a result of this morning's apparent shark attack.

In a statement released this afternoon, NSW Police said the incident happened about 6.30am today, while a 35-year-old man was surfing at Main Beach at Iluka.

The man has told police his board was hit from underneath, by what he assumed was a shark

As a result of the impact, the board has snapped. The injured victim has gone into the air and then re-entered the water. He has told police the shark began to circle and then turned away.

The injured man grabbed half of his surfboard and swam to shore. Friends drove the man to Ballina Hospital.

There, he had treatment to lacerations on his right hip before being transferred to Lismore Hospital.

EARLIER: A MAN has been attacked by a shark at Iluka.

NSWDPI confirmed to the Northern Star it was investigating "a reported shark bite at Iluka today", with a 35-year-old man driving himself to hospital after the incident at 6am, suffering minor injuries.

Bryce Cameron a Byron Bay surfer and son of prominent pro-shark net advocate and Byron Bay Boardriders president Neil Cameron, posted a photo of a broken surfboard on his Instagram account at about 8am.

Mr Cameron said the broken board belonged to friend Abe McGrath, 35.

"Life could of been very different this morning.... so stoked to still have our mate and not witness something far worse."
'Life could of been very different this morning.... so stoked to still have our mate and not witness something far worse.' Contributed

"Our arrival to Iluka this morning, (Abe McGrath) hit by a juvenile white pointer.

"So stoked to see him able to limp up the beach."

Mooloolaba woman Amber Hopkins posted photos to Facebook of a man, assumed to be Mr McGrath, with a tear in his wetsuit.

Along with the photo she wrote: "Wow!! This guy has some luck... 6am this morning - Iluka he was attacked by a 3 meter great white shark! He could have lost his life!"

"The great white was coming that fast at him... hit him so hard only the sharks front teeth were able to brush him because the force flew him in the air 10m then shark went back and bit the board in half," Ms Hopkins said in another comment.

The attack comes just two days after a dead whale was spotted being eaten by several big white pointers off nearby Angourie on Saturday.

The juvenile whale carcass has since washed up on Angourie Back Beach.

BITE MARKS: Great white sharks were seen feasting on the carcass of this dead whale before it washed ashore at Angourie Back Beach over the weekend.
BITE MARKS: Great white sharks were seen feasting on the carcass of this dead whale before it washed ashore at Angourie Back Beach over the weekend. Clair Morton



Big wave surfer Laurie Towner, who grew up in Iluka, took a boat out to the dead whale on Friday for a chance to catch a feeding frenzy.

Despite spending much of his life in the water, it was the first time he'd seen a great white up close.

"I had my boat ready to go and we heard it was there, and just thought might be a chance to see a great white," he said.

"Sure enough there was a decent size one. The first one we saw was small, but the bigger one was a decent size. I'm sure if you had a waterproof camera there would have been a lot more going on under the water.

"It was pretty exciting."

Towner said that despite the encounter, and the shark attack yesterday morning, it didn't change anything for him.

"It's the time of the year for them, but I don't even worry about it," he said,

"I don't do stupid stuff like go out if there's a bait ball out there, but it's just part of surfing and being in the ocean."