Shark kills surfer off Australian east coast

(AP) - A surfer has been killed by a shark on Tuesday off the Australian east coast.

The man, aged in his 50s, had been surfing off Forster, 137 miles north of Sydney, when he was attacked late in the morning, a police statement said.

Onlookers pulled the man from the water suffering critical injuries to his upper right thigh, police said.

The Ambulance Service said the man could not be resuscitated despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene.

Forster’s beaches have been closed.

Police said they were working with government authorities to identify the species of shark.

This image made from a video, shows a beach closed sign in Tuncurry, Australia Tuesday, May 18, 2021. A surfer was killed by a shark on Tuesday, police said. The man, aged in his 50s, had been surfing off Forster, 220 kilometers (137 miles) north of Sydney,  when he was attacked late in the morning, a police statement said. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)
This image made from a video, shows a beach closed sign in Tuncurry, Australia Tuesday, May 18, 2021. A surfer was killed by a shark on Tuesday, police said. The man, aged in his 50s, had been surfing off Forster, 220 kilometers (137 miles) north of Sydney, when he was attacked late in the morning, a police statement said. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation via AP)

Lower North Coast Surf Life Saving branch president Brian Wilcox said a drone search after the attack had spotted two sharks in the area.

“It’s pretty unprecedented. I can’t recall ever having a shark attack in this area,” Mr Wilcox told Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“We’ll… do drone missions for the next couple of days, within the Tuncurry Beach area, just to make sure there are no sharks hanging around,” Mr Wilcox added, referring to the beach where the surfer was attacked.

The man’s name has not been released.

It was the first fatal shark attack in Australia since November when a 55-year-old surfer was mauled near the north-west town of Broome.