Beaches Closed Following Shark Attack

Beaches south of Forster around the Booti Booti and Pacific Palms area on the Lower North Coast have been closed for at least the next 24 hours after a surfer sustained injuries when he was bitten by a shark on Thursday morning.

The 65-year old man who is understood to be a local was surfing at Booti Booti at the southern end of Seven Mile Beach when he encountered the shark at around 9:30am.

Following reports of the incident from police, the Surf Life Saving NSW State Operations Centre tasked lifesaving assets including a Duty Officer, Support JetSki, and the volunteer callout team to attend the scene.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter based in Newcastle also attended and it was found that the man had suffered lacerations to his foot and hand.

Due to the isolation of the area the man was transported by road to the local bowling club where he was transferred to the helicopter and airlifted to hospital.

As a result of this morning’s incident Seven Mile Beach, Elizabeth, Boomerang, and Blueys Beach have all been closed.

Warnings signs have been erected by National Parks and Wildlife personnel and Lifeguards while the public are strongly urged to avoid swimming in the area today.

A decision on when to reopen the beaches will be made in consultation with stakeholders including MidCoast Council, Police, National Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Department of Primary Industries tomorrow.

The species of the shark involved is not known and the matter has been referred to the NSW Department of Primary Industries for further investigation.

Photograph: Newcastle Herald - The remains of the injured surfer's board following a shark encounter at Booti Booti on Thursday 1 December

Thu 1 Dec 2016