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February 26, 2021

Byron beaches reopen after shark attack

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Suffolk Park surfer Sam Edwardes is recovering in hospital after being bitten by a shark on February 17. Photo Facebook

Updated, Monday, 9.20am: Byron beaches have reopened and life guards will be in attendance today at Main Beach following yesterday’s (February 17) shark attack at Belongil.

Forty-one-year-old Sam Edwardes had paddled out with this flatmate Dane Davidson at around 6.30am yesterday and was just sitting up on his board when the attack occurred.

The impact knocked him off the board.

The shark took a serious bite out of Mr Edwardes’ left leg and a chunk out of his board.

DPI scientists have identified the bite mark from the surfboard and say the animal was most likely a juvenile white pointer shark.

Despite the bite and subsequent blood loss, Mr Edwardes was able to swim himself back to shore.

Beachgoers applied a tourniquet to his leg and assisted him until paramedics arrived.

He remains in a serious condition at Gold Coast University Hospital after undergoing surgery yesterday afternoon.

The incident occurred before Byron Bay lifesavers came on duty yesterday but a spokesperson told Echonetdaily, ‘We had drones in the air doing surveillance after the attack but saw nothing other than dolphins and turtles’.

Original report: A 41 year-old male has been flown to Gold Coast University Hospital after a shark attack at Byron Bay early this morning.

The patient, a Suffolk Park resident, has a large injury to his left leg. Paramedics and helicopters clinical team treated the patient on scene. He was also given blood that is carried on board the helicopter.

Emergency services, including the Westpac Helicopter, were called to Manfred Street at about 6.40am today (Sunday 17 February 2019), after reports a man was surfing near Belongil Beach when he bitten on the leg by a shark.

The man returned to shore on his board and alerted other surfers.

Belongil and Byron’s Main Beach have been closed until tomorrow. Photo Rosie Lee.

He was treated at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics, before being air-lifted to Gold Coast University Hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Belongil Beach and Main Beach have been closed for 24-hours.

Officers from Tweed/Byron Police District will liaise with Department of Primary Industry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Beachgoers are urged to follow safety advice from Surf Life Saving NSW and by visiting the Department of Primary Industry’s website www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/sharks and the SharkSmart app.

Photo Rosie Lee.

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