Surfer says great white shark attacked him at Iluka in NSW

Lily Mayers
Swellnet Dispatch

A surfer has been attacked by a shark while surfing at Iluka on the NSW north coast, the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) has said.

The 35-year-old man from Suffolk Park was surfing at Main Beach when he was hit from underneath his board about 6.30am by what he believed to be a great white shark.

Image: Amber Hopkins

The impact caused the board to snap and he was thrown into the air.

The surfer said the shark then began to circle and turn away, so he grabbed half of his surfboard and swam to shore.

Friends then drove him to Ballina Hospital where he was treated for lacerations on his right hip.

He has now been transferred to Lismore Hospital.

Main and Bluff beaches have now been closed as a result of the attack and the DPI have activated their shark incident response plan.

A shark biologist will assess the man's injuries and damage to the surf board to try to determine the size and species of the shark involved, the DPI said.

A witness to the attack, Amber Hopkins, said: "This man is lucky to be alive."

NSW Surf Life Saving said the Iluka Beach was unpatrolled and considered closed.

The NSW Government introduced nets to five beaches on the North Coast in December 2016, after a spate of concentrated shark attacks.

There were 14 swimmer and shark interactions off the NSW far North Coast in 2015-16, according to the DPI.

Along with nets, 35 SMART (Shark Management Alert in Real Time) drumlines were being used between Evans Head and Lennox Head to mitigate shark attacks.

The man's board was snapped in the attack at Iluka Beach. Image: Amber Hopkins

© Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

Comments

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 1:50pm

Heard there might be a dead whale at back beach Iluka up the from the wall...anyone know?

simba

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 1:59pm
flow's picture
flow's picture
flow commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 2:01pm

Another JS board

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 3:15pm

Noticed that also

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 7:43pm

Thats because JS uses that new organic resin and MEKP, MethylEthylKetonePilchard. Great for the environment, not so great as a shark deterrent

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 2:23pm

So the dead whale is at back beach Angourie ????? by the looks,but the smell of dead whale is in the water............See how long it takes them to move it off the beach,not sure if they can at backies Anga no access.

simba

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 3:23pm

For family and friends sake treatment was first at Ballina.... transffered to Lismore Hospital .
Gold Coast Bulletin has a full photo of said surfer Abe Mc Grath.
Also a Full shot of his surfboard. Hope all is well.

dandob's picture
dandob's picture
dandob commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 5:17pm

One whale on angas back beach as of Saturday, another full sized humpback a little further south at redcliffe as of two weeks ago. Coincidence? Yamba this season's ballina?

dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000's picture
dangerouskook2000 commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 7:45pm

How did it die? Japanese whalers?

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 8:20pm

I'm hearing this one was the Russians.

tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter's picture
tubeshooter commented Sunday, 10 Sep 2017 at 9:02pm

No , probably more like that Italian skipper that came a bit too close to shore to showboat for the paparazzi . Whale watching from headlands is popular now , and there are a lot of people yelling and screaming everytime one breaks the surface. Probably came in a little close for it's profile shot for the the latest environmental campaign .

surfingwombat's picture
surfingwombat's picture
surfingwombat commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 11:10am

anyone know if there are plans to remove the whales from iluka/angourie?

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 11:15am

Video of the whale! (can't embed for some reason).

https://www.instagram.com/p/BY2bC90Fqkw/?taken-by=almackinnon

"The day before yesterday @danielsaann was surfing a slab whilst I did watershots. I had a feeling I haven't had many times, not really since Cape Town a few years ago; the feeling that one is not alone in the water. The sea is incredibly alive here, whales pass by regularly, as do dolphins and I saw numerous fish swimming through the waves, but this feeling was somewhat ominous, almost like being watched.

I put it down to Pommy paranoia and pushed the unwelcome thoughts to the back of my mind, not saying a word lest it divert us from our primary purpose of getting barrelled, but also because I had little doubt the Aussies (all nutters, especially @laurietowner, who was out there getting shacked) would take the piss out of the 'soft limey' ha ha!

To my knowledge no surfer has ever been bitten in the UK, but the possibility is very real here in Australia. In the last 48hrs I've witnessed first hand just how real the threat is.

Dan shot this video of Laurie, @Navfox, dead whale, great white and me out just after sunset, not much more than a couple of miles from where we'd been surfing that morn. The shark in the vid is the smaller of two we saw, the other one, huge, with almost incomprehensible girth cruised silently past our little boat, eyeing us up. The whale has now washed up on a local beach, it's oils leaching into the water, attracting the denizens of the deep from miles around.

Today a surfer, Abe McGrath, was attacked by a great white, launched out of the water and had his board snapped in half by the impact. Luckily he got away with just a few stitches... Thanks for taking us out and showing us this incredible spectacle @laurietowner!"

sirboonie's picture
sirboonie's picture
sirboonie commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 1:35pm

good opportunity to go on a tagging spree. anyone listened to whalesplosion on the dollop podcast? not bad

talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey's picture
talkingturkey commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 3:29pm

Someone's on The Dollop program. Well played sir.

http://thedollop.libsyn.com/227-whalesplosion

chook's picture
chook's picture
chook commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 11:41am

heading up there this weekend for a week. a dead whale right outside the place we're staying.
so, i hear the bushwalking is good this time of the year in the washpool NP.

freeride76's picture
freeride76's picture
freeride76 commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 11:58am

Known Abe since he was a kid, a very staunch bloke and top notch surfer. Hope he heals well and gets back in the water soon.

dandob's picture
dandob's picture
dandob commented Monday, 11 Sep 2017 at 6:18pm

I doubt they plan to do anything wombat. The one at red cliff has been there for over two weeks now. Similarly, one washed up on angourie back beach a few years ago as well and nothing was done as far as I'm aware. Dangerous practice I reckon.

surfingwombat's picture
surfingwombat's picture
surfingwombat commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 6:19am

damn that seems irresponsible :/

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 8:48am

I know, it's outrageous! It's totally up to the government to protect us. Local councils should ensure that there are no whales on the beach and the feds should get on with the job of totally barricading the east coast against any threat of a shark attack.
When they've finished there, they can get on with legislating compulsory use of legropes, helmets, go-pros, 4WDs and apex predator eradication programs.

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 8:14pm

halibut... sound's like a fish to me, a fish that is over consumed, on a global front, due to dick head's, sarcasm, fake's, & out of touch fishy folk. have a good old think about it. i will show ya the way............ is that dinner, thank you.

hynz

gcuts's picture
gcuts's picture
gcuts commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 8:25am

So, no 'attacks' or even 'encounters' around the Ballina area this "season", so far? Guess the nets must be working ... Governments are not going to have much choice but put nets along the whole cost now. The 'risk management' and 'pubic safety' arguments will force them to out the nets along the whole coast.

Hope the locals get vocal about the having the dead whale moved off the beach ASAP. History shows increased shark activity in the area's where whales have been buried.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy commented Tuesday, 12 Sep 2017 at 12:30pm

The nets have been out since the start of June. They then put extra drumlines in. It was recently announced the nets will go in again for a second trial as soon as all the whales have passed through. There's been encounters, and plenty of sightings but no attacks or serious bumps as far as I'm aware.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 8:01am

You know your living in the nation of entitlement when surfers start claiming that the existence of sharks in the oceans is a problem that governments should be responsible for, rather than a personal risk issue that individuals should be responsible for.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 1:12pm

Shock jocks ensure whale burial is secret men's business.
Huge mounting problem requires buckpassing pyramid scheme to point fingers elsewhere.

Irony that Japs have worlds best Whale rescue set up while we lasso whales from tinnies.
How can Japs or the world believe Australia cares if we can't demonstrate it ourselves.
Oz marine rescue has no humane sling,hoist,barge,cove,slipway,winch,trailer nor shower truck.... So where do wounded whales end up?

We now understand Cetaceans are Oz Wide .
1) Shipping/Public inform first response rescue outfits such as ORCCA or local Theme park rescue units from SeaWorld & Dolphin Magic even whale watchers if needed.
All are trained to survive small whales in shallows. For that we salute!
2)Rescue groups inform Federal Govt thru... State National Parks/Marine Wildlife.
Thumbs up or down are decided.
3)(Secretly!...meaning no media) Saltwater People are informed of tragic outcome.
4) Because of Media frenzy and loony Shock jocks the Burial Site is kept secret.
5) Local Councils provide the above high tide site and bulldozers for grave then approval for burial is granted by Saltwater people.
6) Whale is usually roped in by tail bulldozed into grave Aussie style. (No offence)
6) Saltwater ceremony takes place...Surfing community is omitted for fear factor reason.
7) Councils are well aware of ongoing leeching whale oil attracting sharks.
8) This is not isolated .. now the norm along East Coast. Each Council each year similar.

Please fellow swellnetonians! Read this list as a general oversight.
I'm sure we're all at a loss as to why world's front yard is not open for debate.
I'm only partially unravelling the secret world of hiding Gentle Giants in plain sight.
If I got it wrong, I never meant to offend....
Read the columns,folk want more not less want answers!

Aussie Whale diet of drone/phone pop tarts may prove more insufferable than harpoon.
Current Love'm to death then secretly bury the carcass under the carpet is morbid.
I'm guessing community will pilgrimage Whale mecca to grieve & respect burial sites.
Perhaps Swellnet '4 corners division' could go undercover on Whale trail .

Just what is the plan for more whales on shrinking beach fronts,this can't go on this way.

Sorry Abe!...Story got a bit sidetracked, we're all on same wavelength in wishing you well.

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:15pm

that is a crack up, well done!!

Halibut's picture
Halibut's picture
Halibut commented Wednesday, 13 Sep 2017 at 2:13pm

Holy Ahab, someone said sumpthin about whales or sumpn, and truebluebasher's right onto it!!

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 18 Sep 2017 at 11:08am

Freeride , do you or does anyone else have any more info on this attack or a link to more pictures of the damaged surfboard ?

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 12:17pm

udo & or Freeride - good luck to your mate. (You guys know more I'm guess'n).

Friday Great Whites feasted on Humpback Whale- washing up on Angourie back beach Sat.
The Southerly Buster of Saturday blew out to Glassy Sunny Sunday Morning.
(Sunday 10th Sept 2017) Clarence River mouth (Tides) Low 4:39am...High 10:57am.
At 6:30 am Abe & Eliijah a 2 man line-up - 50m apart /200m north of Clarence River Wall. @ Main Beach Car Park. Witness says surf was a bit murkey. Cameron Surf Clan on hand.

Juvenile (3.5m) White Pointer charged Abe hard from beneath flinging him high up to...10m.
With rider now separated, the Shark circled again but had a second go at board not surfer.
By this time board in two/ both surfers were wading in waist deep water as shark retreated.

I shall skip the gory detail....I do respect that whole story is Abe's to tell.
Abe was lying on Board at the time...It was said, had he been sitting he may have lost a leg.
Goes without saying fellow Swellnetonians wish Abe well + [Free wave of the day voucher].

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 5:16pm

hey stu , stunet , or what ever, can you just show photo's of your own shit, i am personally alittle shitty about iluka photos, & pretend pro's surfing around where i live. howabout you all show photo's of where you personally come from, & surfed over the financial week at home, & be real.

hynz

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 7:01pm

On the cans this arvy lukey mate?

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 9:08pm

yep goofy lager.

hynz

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 3:41pm

Only one photo was from there and it wasn't named until you named it.

So well done on that.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 3:50pm

I surfed that other break not too long ago.

Fun , fun , fun.

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 5:24pm

was it small, with a soft wind swell, .......na, your ok ......blowin.

hynz

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 5:20pm

is that the best you can do...stu

hynz

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 5:34pm

stu..... don't write a book in the comment section, just simply ...... be real, mate, don't ask for direction's, just go for it....... in your own word's.

hynz

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 5:54pm

would you like a photo......stu.....

hynz

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 6:10pm

Lily Mayers wrote the story....ABC news..
Swellnet just reposted it.

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 7:11pm

Sorry Lily, i was not talking about the shark attack, i was talking about swellnet, showing more than one photo of a surf break that is far away from where they live, & pretend to surf. i would like those snotty city folk to stand up. & do there fuckin job properly.

hynz

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 7:22pm

If you're talking about the Waves of the day . Think you might find they were different spots.

Nice style from Hippo. Campbell tearing also.

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Sunday, 17 Sep 2017 at 8:19pm

Don't think people will be rushing down to the area after a GWS attack do you?

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 11:52am

Only one pic worldwide of the damage to this guys board ...is Abe gonna tell his story
Freeride have you any more info on the Attack ?
Dead Whale supposedly is being left to decompose on national park beach few kays Sth.

uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy's picture
uncle_leroy commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 2:44pm

Port Macquarie Council not worried about whale juice leaching out into the surf.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-19/humpback-dies-dragging-fish-net-fr...

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 5:53pm

Stunet is the editor and he is well aware of the connection between exposure of spots and resultant crowds. Photos are often cropped to preserve mystery and photos of some spots are never published.

Wave of the day is never named and people are greatly discouraged from revealing their locations in the comments. Something you could do well to abide by .

If you don't want pros and photogs flogging your turf then get your crew together and sort them out like people have done in other locations. Best of luck with that.

And I mean that sincerely.

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 6:48pm

you sound like a teenager, that has not fully developed............ yet.

hynz

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 5:55pm

Anti/lukas
Herc/uplift

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 6:45pm

goofy, goofy, goofy, you don't like the truth....... do you. i think that herc, is just like you!!!!!!!!!! just another fake in the line up.........

hynz

dewhurst's picture
dewhurst's picture
dewhurst commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 6:32pm

Abe gets a new JS. Classy move Jules Wilson.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BZFWfQjHcan/?taken-by=julian_wilson

lukas's picture
lukas's picture
lukas commented Tuesday, 19 Sep 2017 at 7:29pm

JULIAN WILSON, is not just a pro, this bloke, is real. cheers mate.

hynz

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Tuesday, 26 Sep 2017 at 2:29pm

And we have a very lucky lady at Gracetown ...knocked off her board by a GW shark.

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 7 Nov 2017 at 9:17am

Hows this vid of a great white in shallow water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-79oB38Jhjk

Ada gula, ada semut!