Man dies after shark attack at Greenmount
A man has died after being attacked by a shark while he was surfing at Coolangatta on the southern end of the Gold Coast.
Queensland Ambulance Service was called to Greenmount Beach shortly after 5:00pm on Tuesday evening.
Paramedics said the man, in his 50s, died from critical leg injuries.
Lifeguards and other people on the beach rushed to help the man after the attack.
Chief Lifeguard Warren Young said despite their best efforts the man could not be saved.
"It was a pretty severe attack and the ambulance and paramedics were here and did what they could, but it was to no avail," Mr Young said.
Police Acting Inspector Jonathan Lavin said the man was pulled from the water by some other surfers "suffering a life-threatening injury to his leg — significant trauma as a result of what is believed to be a shark bite".
"It is extremely worrying — school holidays aren't far off … all efforts will be made tomorrow by local authorities to identify if there is a shark in the area and to what sort of risk that poses to the community," Acting Inspector Lavin said.
It is believed to be the first fatal shark attack on a Gold Coast beach since 1958.
Greenmount Beach is one of numerous Gold Coast beaches with shark nets in place.
Queensland's Department of Agriculture and Fisheries shark net program website warns nets do "not provide an impenetrable barrier between sharks and humans", nor prevent sharks from entering any particular area.
"They're intended to catch 'resident sharks' and sharks that pass through the area while feeding on fish bait," the website said.
'You don't expect things like this'
Coolangatta resident Ian Edgehill said he walked past during his nightly exercise and saw a beach buggy covered in a white towel.
"I stopped and I overheard a surfer talking to the paramedics and what had happened, and then I looked and I saw a board with what looked like teeth marks in the middle of it," Mr Edgehill said.
"I couldn't tell you how many centimetres, but it was enough to be noticeable and I automatically knew it was a shark attack when I saw it.
"It's pretty surprising because when you live around here you just don't expect things like this at all.
"I came in and I saw a lot of people gathered around and everyone seemed to be quite in shock and didn't know what was going on, so it was a bit strange."
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said beaches would be shut from the border to Burleigh Heads on Wednesday.
He said lifeguards would patrol on jet skis while the Westpac helicopter would also be in the air looking for signs of the shark.
"Like every Gold Coaster tonight, I am both shocked and saddened to learn of this terrible tragedy," Cr Tate said.
"My thoughts and prayers are with the surfer’s family and friends."
Queensland's last fatal shark attack was in July off Fraser Island, when Matthew Tratt, 36, died while spearfishing near Indian Head.
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