A champion surfer was in an induced coma on Wednesday after suffering severe wounds in a shark attack on the same stretch of east Australian coast where two people have been killed in 11 attacks in the past 12 months.
Sam Morgan, 20, was badly bitten on the left thigh by a bull shark as he surfed alone on Tuesday evening off Lighthouse Beach near Ballina, 740km north of Sydney.
A person on the beach heard Morgan scream and stumble out of the sea bleeding from a large wound on his leg, Inspector Nicole Bruce told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Morgan was helicoptered to hospital, where he was placed in an induced coma and underwent surgery.
A shark expert said from teeth marks on the surfboard that the attack came from a 3-metre-long bull shark.
Morgan is a champion junior surfer and has been rising through the ranks of the World Surf League, currently ranked number 33.
In July a bodyboarder had his legs mauled by a great white shark at the same spot. In February, Japanese surfer Tadashi Nakahara was killed by a 3-metre-long Great White at a neighbouring beach.
The state government launched a scientific investigation into the spate of shark attacks including tagging sharks to track their movements. A series of shark nets are due to be installed in two weeks along the affected beaches.
The beach has been closed for 24 hours while lifeguards search for sharks in the area.
Source: News 24