Australia: Surfer dies after suspected shark attack 300km north of Sydney

A surfer has died after a suspected shark attack at a popular beach in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

The man believed to be in his 50s suffered critical injuries to his upper thigh while surfing Tuesday morning, according to NSW Police.

Emergency services were called to Tuncurry Beach, Forster, around 300 kilometers north of Sydney, at about 11:20am local time, police said.

The man actually spotted the shark early and tried to warn his friends, police superintendent Christopher Schilt told reporters.

The man’s three friends swam over to him and pulled him to shore, but he went into cardiac arrest due to blood loss.

Officers from the Manning Great Lakes Police District tried to resuscitate him but he died at the scene, the force added.

The shark in question is believed to be around 4.5 meters long, said the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), a government agency responsible for fisheries and agriculture.

Alongside police, the DPI is monitoring the area with drones and about 20 kilometers of beach has been closed off to the public for at least 24 hours.

Eight fatal shark attacks, two of which were in NSW, were recorded in Australia in 2020, according to the Taronga Conservation Society.