Shark Injures Surfer Near Port Macquarie

A man in his 20s from the Central Coast has sustained injuries to his leg and hand, believed to have been caused by a shark, at Diamond Head near Port Macquarie.

The Surf Emergency Response System was alerted and duty lifesavers and council lifeguards from Port Macquarie responded.

He was surfing on a stand up paddle board when the shark bit him on his left thigh. He also sustained injuries to his hand trying to force the shark away. Ambulance officers have treated the man at the scene. The Westpac Helicopter has transported the patient in a conscious, stable condition to Newcastle.

The beach is an unpatrolled location between Port Macquarie and Crowdy Head.

Surf Life Saving NSW Lifesaving Manager, Dean Storey, wants to remind the public that the risk of shark attacks or encounters is very low and that people are at far greater risk of drowning. There have been five coastal drownings in NSW this month.

"Holiday-makers who are concerned about sharks should stick to swimming at patrolled locations," said Storey. "That way lifesavers and lifeguards can clear the water in the event of a shark sighting and first aid support and equipment is immediately available."

For all in-water emergencies, call 000 Police. Go to beachsafe.org.au for all patrolled beach information and multi-lingual surf safety resources.

Fri 28 Dec 2012