Beaches reopen after shark attack at Byron Bay
UPDATE 10.50am: SHARK attack victim Sam Edwardes remains in a serious but stable condition at Gold Coast University Hospital.
Mr Edwardes underwent surgery yesterday after sustaining a serious injury to hi left thigh.
UPDATE 10.34am: BEACHES have been given the "all clear" this morning and have been reopened.
Beaches in Byron Bay were closed after a man was bitten at Belongil Beach early yesterday.
Surf Life Saving NSW said police were happy for the beaches to reopen.
Water and aerial patrols will continue.
UPDATE 6.34am: NSW Department of Primary Industries shark biologists have identified a juvenile white shark as likely responsible for the bite on a 41-year-old man at Belongil Beach, Byron Bay yesterday.
UPDATE 3.05pm: A MAN whose leg was bitten by a shark this morning at Belongil Beach is "Serious but stable and he is still undergoing surgery on the Gold Coast".
Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe said: "The beaches will be reassessed tomorrow and are currently closed from Brunswick Heads Beach in the north of the shire, through to the Pass in Byron Bay".
As for them identifying the shark, they will send the photos of the board with the piece bitten out of the surfboard and send it to the department of primary industries where they have an on call shark expert who will then view all that material and try and make a determination as to what type of shark it was.
UPDATE 2.55pm: A SURFER had a "big chunk" taken out of his leg after he was attacked by a shark at Byron Bay's Belongil beach yesterday.
The surfer, Sam Edwardes, 41, had just paddled out to catch his first waves of the day and was sitting upright on his board when he was hit by the shark at about 6.30am.
Paramedics worked frantically on lacerations to his leg before he was flown to Gold Coast University Hospital for further treatment.
He was reported to be in a critical but stable condition.
The Suffolk Park man had just paddled out with his friend Dane Davidson, when the shark struck.
"As soon as my mate got out the back he sat up on his board and instantly a shark smashed from underneath … knocking him clean off his board," Mr Davidson told the ABC.
"There was a lot of splashing and smashing and he started screaming."
The two surfers then managed to paddle back to shore and made a tourniquet out of leg ropes.
"We didn't realise until we were on the beach that there was a big chunk taken out of his leg so there was a lot of blood".
Detective Inspector Matt Kehoe said photographs and measurements of bite marks on the board would be provided to the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) to try to determine what type of shark was involved in the attack.
"There were no teeth left in the board but it's a very clear bite pattern [but] scientists are yet to determine the size of the shark," he said.
He praised those who helped to stabilise Mr Edwardes at the scene and said they remained "very calm" throughout the incident.
"Probably without their swift actions we could be dealing with a whole different situation here," he said.
Belongil Beach and Main Beach, two of Byron Bay's most popular spots for swimming and surfing, were immediately closed for 24 hours.
It is the second incident on the far-north coast this weekend, after a highly experienced surf lifesaver went missing yesterday while swimming at Ballina.
UPDATE 10.52am: THE surfer bitten by a shark this morning had only just paddled out for his first wave when the incident occurred.
A friend, Dane Davidson, told the ABC: "As soon as my mate got out the back he sat up on his board and instantly a shark smashed from underneath … knocking him clean off his board."
He helped his friend paddle back to shore where they realised "there was a big chunk taken out of his leg so there was a lot of blood".
UPDATE 10.30am: THE man bitten by a shark at Belongil Beach this morning suffered a large wound to his upper left leg and was given blood on the way to hospital in the rescue helicopter.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter said the man has been flown to Gold Coast University Hospital after paramedics and the helicopter's clinical team treated the patient on scene.
They said he was given blood that is carried on board the helicopter.
UPDATE 8.56am: SURF Life Saving crews continue to patrol the beach after a shark attack at Byron Bay this morning.
SLSA crews are sweeping the beaches in IRBs and on jetskis, notifying people in the water beaches are closed.
A Life Saver helicopter from Sydney was also involved in the search, but has been retasked to search for a man missing at Ballina.
SLSA will consult with police, the Department of Primary Industries, and Byron Shire Council before making a decision to reopen beaches.
UPDATE 8.30am: A 41-year-old man has sustained injuries to hos upper thigh after being bitten by a shark this morning at Byron Bay.
NSW Ambulance said the man was assisted by people on the scene until ambulance crews arrived.
Four ambulance crews attended the incident and the man was treated before being transported by Westpac Rescue Helicopter to the Gold Coast University Hospital.
The man is in a stable condition.
Original story: A MAN has been flown to hospital after being bitten by a shark at Byron Bay.
Emergency services were called to Manfred Street, Byron Bay, about 6:40am today, after reports a man was surfing near Belongil Beach when he bitten on the leg by a shark.
The 41-year-old man from Suffolk Park returned to shore on his board and alerted other surfers.
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.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report crime via NSW Police social media pages.