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Byron Shire
April 20, 2021

Ballina shark victim wants to support rescue chopper

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Injured body boarder Mat Lee, who was attacked by a shark at Ballina five weeks ago, wants half of any money raised for his recovery to go to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service.

In an update on his Facebook page yesterday, Mr Lee’s family said he was hoping to be transferred to Ballina hospital from the Gold Coast soon to continue his recovery.

Meanwhile, a meeting will be held in Lennox Head tonight at Williams Reserve to provide business owners and residents information about the current strategy to guard against further attacks.

Ballina mayor David Wright confirmed he would be attending along with other members of the committee set up to tackle the shark situation.

The meeting coincided with further sightings over the weekend.

Air T&G, which has been conducting aerial surveillance, reported seeing two very large sharks at Lighthouse Beach, Ballina at1pm on Sunday.

Other sightings included a shark feeding on a large ball of baitfish just outside the bar at Evans Head.

A local professional fisherman spotted the shark, turned back and alerted surfers in the water, and they got out. The coast guard was also notified.

Police also evacuated people from the water at Wategos Beach at Byron Bay early on Saturday after sharks were spotted around a large ball of baitfish.

Police were called to Belongil Beach around 3pm on Saturday after two sharks were seen swimming through a group of eight surfers, and another shark was spotted on Saturday at Turners Beach, Yamba, around 4.30pm.

Ballina mayor David Wright said the Air T&G patrols were proving successful.

‘We believe aerial surveillance is the only way of sighting them, especially when the water is murky like yesterday,’ Cr Wright said.

Cr Wright also said he was hopeful that Ballina could host a summit in September to update people with results from studies being conducted by Southern Cross University experts.


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