SYDNEY (AP) – A 15-year-old surfer died on Saturday when he was maimed by a shark, the second fatal attack in a week in Australia and already at least the fifth this year.
Police said the boy was surfing at Wooli Beach, near Grafton, about 600 kilometers (370 miles) north of Sydney, New South Wales, just before 2:30 p.m. when he was attacked. The shark’s attack left him with serious leg injuries.
Several surfers came to the aid of the boy and helped him disembark for medical treatment. Despite the efforts of the CPR to revive him, he died on the spot.
Police initially said the victim was 17, but then corrected her age to 15.
Jim Simmons, mayor of the riding of Clarence Valley, said that visitors had visited the area for school holidays and that there would likely have been many people in the water.
“What happened this afternoon was going to shake everyone up,” said Simmons. “It is terribly shocking. All our sympathies, locals, go to the boy’s family. “
It is unusual for Australia to have five fatal shark attacks in the first six months of the year. On average, three people die from shark attacks each year in the country, according to figures kept by the Australian Shark Attack File. The last time there were five fatal attacks in an entire year was in 2014.
Last Saturday, a 20-year-old harpoon diver died after being attacked by a shark off the coast of Queensland in Australia. The man was attacked near Indian Head, on the east side of Fraser Island.
The attack occurred near where 23-year-old Queensland ranger Zachary Robba was fatally maimed by a great white shark in April.
A 57-year-old diver was killed off Western Australia in January, and a 60-year-old surfer was killed off Kingscliff in New South Wales in June.