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The man, who was in his 50s, was surfing at Tuncurry Beach in Forster, New South Wales when the shark reportedly bit into his upper thigh, according to CNN. The man first saw the shark and attempted to notify his three friends. When he became the victim, those same friends pulled him from the water, with the assistance of bystanders. However, his extreme loss of blood led to cardiac arrest and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Despite the best efforts of paramedics and bystanders at the scene, the man could not be resuscitated,” NSW Ambulance tweeted. First responders were called to the beach at around 11:20 a.m. local time, or 9:20 p.m. ET on Monday.
Beaches in Forster have been shuttered for 24 hours while the government surveys the area with drones. TMZ reports that the shark is thought to be a great white that is 13 to 15 feet in length.
Lower North Coast Surf Life Saving branch president Brian Wilcox told tAustralian Broadcasting Corp that the attack was “pretty unprecedented. I can’t recall ever having a shark attack in this area.”
He continued, “We’ll … do drone missions for the next couple of days, within the Tuncurry Beach area, just to make sure there are no sharks hanging around.” He said that the drone search showed two sharks were in the area.
Last year saw eight fatal shark attacks in Australia, the most since 1929, when nine people died.