Great white fear as man fights for life

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

A BODY­BOARDER is fight­ing for his life af­ter be­ing mauled by a sus­pected great white shark at a beach in NSW’s north.

Matthew Lee ( pic­tured right) sus­tained se­vere leg in­juries in the at­tack at Light­house Beach, near Bal­lina, and was flown to a Gold Coast hos­pi­tal.

His friends are re­ported to have pulled 32- year- old Mr Lee from the wa­ter about 10am yesterday, us­ing leg ropes to stop the bleed­ing, as lo­cals tried to help.

The owner of Light­house

I looked

down the beach and

saw them work­ing on a bloke, it was hell

Beach Cafe said lo­cals banded to­gether to help the man.

“I looked down the beach, and saw them work­ing on a bloke, it was hell . . . there’s lots of peo­ple down here,” she said.

Po­lice be­lieve the shark is a great white, about four me­tres long.

Beaches in the re­gion will re­main closed for at least 24 hours but a 300- strong ju­nior surf com­pe­ti­tion at Len­nox Head, 10km north, is ex­pected to go ahead to­day.

Bal­lina Mayor David Wright said the Oz Grom con­test would pro­ceed as planned if air and sea searches did not find the shark at first light. Boats, jet­skis and he­li­copters searched for the shark yesterday af­ter re­ports it was spot­ted near the scene of the at­tack.

He said about 30 surfers re­mained in the Bal­lina wa­ters af­ter dark yesterday de­spite the warn­ing signs. “Surfers will surf,” he said. In Fe­bru­ary, a great white shark tore the legs off 41year- old surfer Tadashi Naka­haraa in a fa­tal at­tack at the neigh­bour­ing Shelly Beach.

In 2008 a 16- year- old boy was fa­tally at­tacked by a shark while body­board­ing at Light­house Beach.

MERCY FLIGHT: Emer­gency ser­vices at the North Wall break at Light­house Beach where a body­boarder was at­tacked by a shark.

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