SYDNEY (AP) — A Japanese national died Monday after a shark tore off his legs while he was surfing off Australia’s east coast, not far from the area where another surfer was mauled by a shark a day earlier, officials said.
The 41-year-old man was sitting on his board waiting for a wave when the shark came up behind him and grabbed the back of the board and the man’s legs in its mouth, said David Wright, mayor of the New South Wales town of Ballina, where the attack occurred. The man’s friends, who had been surfing alongside him, rushed him to shore, where they tried to stop the bleeding with tourniquets and performed CPR.
“But because both legs were gone, he bled to death very quickly,” Wright said. Officials have not released the man’s name, but Wright said he had been living in the area and worked at a local surf shop and as a cleaner at a hotel.
Shelly Beach, the site of the attack, was closed, along with a larger stretch of coastline as officials searched for the shark.
Ballina is just 20 kilometers south of Seven Mile Beach, where 35-year-old surfer Jabez Reitman was attacked on Sunday.
“I just freaked out,” Reitman told reporters as he was taken from an ambulance at a hospital on Sunday. “I thought it was a dolphin at first until I started feeling and realised it was pretty significant lacerations.”