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Surfer dies after shark attack in Australia

September 5, 2021

The man succumbed to his injuries despite the best efforts of emergency services off the coast of New South Wales.

A surfer carries his board into the water next to a sign declaring a shark sighting on Sydney's Manly Beach, Australia, November 24, 2015.
Australia ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters in 2019Image: Reuters/D. Gray

A man has died after being bitten by a shark off a surfer beach on Australia's east coast on Sunday, paramedics said.

The incident took place off Emerald Beach, some 342 miles (550 kilometers) north of Sydney.

The man was believed to be in his late 20s and was bitten in the arm, according to local media.

Fellow surfers and bystanders tried giving the man CPR before medical help arrived but could not save him, an ambulance official from New South Wales said.

What happened at the beach?

Witness Aaron Armstrong said Emerald Beach was popular among locals, and that many people were enjoying swimming in the water and celebrating Father's Day on the beach.

"It will change the fabric a little bit for a little while in EB, that's for sure," Armstrong told public broadcaster ABC.

Armstrong said as far as he knew, it was the first shark attack in the community.

Australia's most populous state of New South Wales has been reeling under a COVID crisis, reporting more than 1,000 new cases in the last two days.

Though people are under stay-at-home orders, they can leave their homes for exercise, which includes going swimming at the beach.

The most recent fatal shark attack in Australia was in May off the coast of Forster, some 137 miles (220 kilometers) north of Sydney.

The country ranked behind only the United States in the number of unprovoked shark encounters with humans in 2019, according to the University of Florida's International Shark Attack File.

rm/sms (Reuters, AP)