Shark attack at Gold Coast beach
Ambulance crews and lifeguards are treating the surfer for wounds to his leg after he was bitten while surfing about 120m off Nobbys Beach about 5.10pm.
The surfer has been named as Billy O’Leary, 20, a Griffith University student of Mermaid Beach. He has been taken to Gold Coast Hospital in a stable condition.
Police believe a bull shark may be responsible for the attack.
O’Leary was surfing with best mate Tyson Kolkka at Nobby Beach when the freak attack happened about 5pm.
Kolkka’s father, Noel, said he was cooking dinner in the beachfront home Tyson shares with his family when he heard a lifeguard yell ‘shark’ and order everyone out of the water.
“At that I didn’t realise Billy had been bitten,” he said.
“I just ran down the beach and I saw Billy lying on the sand. The lifeguards had gotten to him fairly quickly and were binding up all of his wounds and stopping the blood flow.”
Mr Kolkka said Billy had told him he was performing an aerial trick known as a ‘floater’ when he landed on the shark.
“It’s turned around and bitten him,” he said.
“The shark probably wasn’t looking for him – it was just bad luck.
“He made his way to shore but when he turned ’round and saw the injuries, he was really scared. He yelled out to a few people to help but they were wearing iPods and couldn’t hear him and just kept walking.”
Mr Kolkka said Billy had a couple of deep lacerations to his left calf, including one to his Achilles tendon.
“But he should be fine once he gets stitched up,” he said.
Mr Kolkka said he had lived in the area for 20 years and while he had seen sharks, he had never heard of an attack.
“But I know there’s a lot of baitfish around so that’s probably why,” he said.
Chief lifeguard Warren Young said Billy was in good spirits and did not seem to be in pain when he was taken away in an ambulance to hospital.
But he said the young surfer had two significant 10cm lacerations.
“When you combine soft skin and sharp teeth, the impact Is always going to be considerable,” he said.
“He’s a lucky boy.”
The water around Gold Coast beaches has become increasingly murky in recent days following repeated heavy deluges.