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Surf Lifesavers and lifeguards have closed beaches in the Port Macquarie area after a woman in her mid thirties was attacked by a shark at 9.30am this morning.

The woman, who was surfing at the time of the attack, was bitten on the right leg a number of times. The species of shark responsible for the attack is confirmed to have been a juvenile White Shark - approximately 2-3 metres in length.

A surfer who witnessed the attack responded quickly to assist the woman by hitting the shark repeatedly until it released the woman’s leg. The man then assisted the woman out of the water and up the beach to a waiting ambulance.

The woman was transported to Port Macquarie Base hospital for treatment and she will soon be flown by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter to John Hunter Hospital. It is believed the woman is in a serious but stable condition.

Following the attack, lifeguards and Surf Life Saving Duty Officers closed a number of beaches in the area including Shelly Beach, Main Beach, Towns Beach, Tacking Point and Nobbys Beach. They will remain closed for a minimum of 24 hours.

Surf Life Saving NSW is providing coastal surveillance of the area using UAVs (drones), jetskis and inflatable rescue boats (IRBs) to help spot the shark and assist the NSW Department of Primary Industries.

Steven Pearce, CEO of Surf Life Saving NSW praised the efforts of the surfers who came to the aid of the woman and said that surf lifesavers and Lifeguards on duty had responded quickly to close beaches in the area.

“Our thoughts are with the young lady who was injured in the shark attack this morning.  And we’d like to praise her fellow surfers who came to her aid so quickly,” said Steven Pearce.

“Our lifesavers and lifeguards moved quickly to close beaches in the area and are now working closely with the NSW Department of Primary Industries to monitor the area to ensure there are no longer sharks in the vicinity,” Pearce concluded.

Saturday 15 August 2020