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25 June 2024

Aussie surfer survives shark attack


An Australian surfer was recovering Wednesday after being attacked by a shark at a popular beach north of Sydney, a hospital spokesman said.

The man was surfing at North Avoca Beach at dusk on Tuesday when he felt his arm being dragged under his surfboard, the New South Wales Ambulance service said. He immediately paddled back to the beach to raise the alarm.

"A 28-year-old man was bitten in the right forearm and wrist area," and was suffering from puncture wounds, a spokesman for the nearby Gosford Hospital told AFP.

"He is in a satisfactory condition."

Witnesses told local media the shark was brown and about 1.8 metres (six feet) long, meaning it could have been a bronze whaler -- a large, coastal animal prone to over-exploitation by fishing.

Sharks are a common feature of Australian waters but fatal attacks are rare.

Another surfer had a lucky escape last month when a shark rammed his surfboard and bit off a huge chunk. Stephen King, 51, managed to make it to shore with only minor puncture wounds to his leg.

Shark attacks in Australia have left at least 27 people dead in the past 22 years.