Shark bashed by bitten surfer

World | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 8 Nov 2018

A surfer fought off a shark with his board after being bitten in the leg on Australia's east coast yesterday, days after a swimmer died in another attack.

The 43-year-old was surfing off tourist spot Shelly Beach in Ballina, 750 kilometers north of Sydney, when a shark ripped into his left calf, New South Wales state police said.

"It grabbed him on the leg and pulled him off the board," Ballina mayor David Wright told Sydney radio station 2GB. "He used the board to belt the shark away."

Wright said the man had a 20-centimeter cut to his leg, then came in to shore, wrapped his leg up and was taken to hospital.

The shark was believed to be about 1.5-meters long. Shelly and other beaches were closed for 24 hours and authorities were trying to identify the shark species.

A swimmer died on Monday after a shark attack in the Whitsunday islands off Queensland state - the third incident in two months at the tourist spot.

Six sharks were captured using baited lines and killed by state authorities after the earlier attacks in September.

A Japanese surfer died more than three years ago at the same beach in Ballina after a shark bit off both his legs.

Experts say attacks are increasing as water sports become more popular and the fish eaten by sharks move closer to shore.

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