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Wooli Beach, NSW shark attack: Surfer, 15, dies after shark mauls legs – NEWS.com.au

Wooli Beach, NSW shark attack: Surfer, 15, dies after shark mauls legs

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A 15-year-old boy has died after being attacked by a shark on the NSW mid north coast despite fellow surfers bravely trying to fend it off. Witnesses have told police the teenager — identified as Mani Hart-Deville — was surfing at Wilsons Headland off Wooli Beach near Grafton on Saturday afternoon when “a shark attacked”, resulting in “serious injuries to his legs”.
NSW Ambulance crews were called to reports of a shark attack just before 2.30pm, a spokesman told news.com.au.
“Several boardriders came to his assistance before the injured teen could be helped to shore,” NSW Police said in a statement.
Despite CPR efforts to revive the 15-year-old, he died at the scene.
Officers were seen loading a white surfboard with a bite mark into the back of a police car.
“The information we have, it’s quite probably a two-and-a-half metre white pointer,” Surf Lifesaving NSW’s Peter Sweetman told Seven.
“Although they won’t know that until they’ve done forensic testing on the surfboard.”
A number of young people were also later filmed embracing each other on the beach.
Local resident Helen Dobra told Nine she spoke to one of the surfers after the attack.
“Basically, he said that he was in the water and a really big great white shark came up and took a bite, and he was screaming out,” she said.
“Then the surfer said the shark came again for another attack … and another surfer actually bravely went and tried to get the shark off him and then they pulled him out of the water.”
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter was tasked to Wooli Beach “to a report of a serious shark attack”.
“The helicopter has since been called off en route and returned to base,” a spokesman said on Saturday afternoon.
Beaches in the area including Wooli, Diggers Camp and Minnie Water have been closed.
A report into the teenager’s death will be prepared for the coroner.
Wooli Beach is a 3km stretch of sand between Wooli Wooli River and the ocean.
The headland is considered the back beach to Diggers Camp and is described as having “the odd nice peak for surfers”, along with “a few rips swirling and often an inshore gutter”.
The area is not currently patrolled by Surf Life Saving NSW, who will return to beaches in late September.
“A world-first scientific trial using artificial intelligence to help Surf Life Saving UAV drone pilots identify shark species was conducted during the 2019/20 season,” SLS said in a statement.
“Surf Life Saving NSW, in partnership with the NSW Department of Primary and Industries and Macquarie University, conducted shark spotting trials using AI technology at five NSW beaches — Kingscliff, Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Ballina and Evans Head.”
The latest attack comes one week after a 34-year-old man died after he was mauled by a shark while spearfishing off Fraser Island in Queensland.
The victim has since been identified as father of two Matthew Tratt from the Sunshine Coast.
Rob Pedretti, 60, was mauled by a three-metre shark at Salt Beach near Kingscliff in June.
He was also dragged ashore by heroic surfers after being bitten on his thigh but could not be saved.

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