Fatal shark attack off Australia's Gold Coast is the first in 60 years

Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 3:08 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th September 2020, 3:08 pm
Slater's death marks the first shark-related death at a Gold Coast beach since 1958. (London Estate agents / Shutterstock)

An Australian man has died after a shark attack off Queensland's Gold Coast, in the first fatal attack at the city's beaches in over 60 years.

Nick Slater, 46, was surfing at Greenmount Beach at Coolangatta, on Tuesday 8 September, when a shark mauled his leg.

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Slater, a local real estate agent, was found after the attack by nearby surfers floating in shallow water beside his damaged board.

Slater was carried to shore and given first aid but died at the scene.

His death marks the first shark-related death at a Gold Coast beach since 1958.

‘Tooth still lodged in the fibreglass’

Mr Slater, had been surfing next to the popular surf spot, Snapper Rocks point, which had hosted the World Surf League competition in March.

A witness to the attack told the Courier Mail newspaper Mr Slater had been bitten across his upper leg which “was pretty much all taken" by the shark.

One of the surfers who helped Slater after the attack, Jade Parker, described a large bite mark on Mr Slater's surfboard.

Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation he said, "it was probably about the same circumference as a basketball… and there was a tooth still lodged in the fibreglass which I had to remove”.

How have the authorities reacted?

The authorities closed an 18km (11-mile) stretch of beaches in the area on Wednesday 9 September, and have begun conducting both jetski and helicopter searches for the shark which could still pose a threat to beach-goers' safety.

The shark has been reported to be a 3-metre long great white, which are among the most dangerous species of shark.

The city's mayor Tom Tate explained his plans for reopening the beach saying, "once we know that the shark is not in the vicinity or we have tracked it, then the beach will be reopened”.